HAYWARD, Calif. - The UC San Diego women's basketball team picked up its second-straight win Saturday, defeating Cal State East Bay by a score of 59-50 at Pioneer Gymnasium.
UCSD, which also won at Cal State Monterey Bay Thursday, improved to 13-9 overall and 10-8 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). CSUEB dipped under .500 with the loss, now 12-13 on the season and an even 9-9 in league play. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Pioneers.
With four regular season games remaining, UCSD sits in a three-way tie for fifth place in the CCAA. The top six teams qualify for the league tournament.
"This was an excellent win for us tonight as we're in a dogfight trying to solidify a spot in the conference tournament," said UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer. "
Cal State East Bay scored the first nine points of the game before Erin Dautremont's jumper at the 16:29 mark got UC San Diego on the board. A three-pointer by Stephanie Lopez at 15:06 put the Pioneers up by 12 points, 14-2, which would be their largest lead of the night.
A three by Cassie MacLeod kicked off a 13-0 run for the Tritons. MacLeod totaled eight points during the spree and her two free throws put UCSD ahead, 15-14, with 10:34 left in the first half.
Two straight layups by the Pioneers put them back up by a score of 18-15, but MacLeod drilled another long range shot to tie it and two free throws by McKennan Bertsch put UCSD in front, 20-18, at 7:40. The Tritons, which led 29-20 at halftime, would not trail for the rest of the night.
A three-pointer by Megan Perry with 13:41 remaining in the second stanza gave UCSD a 15-point lead, 42-27, the team's largest advantage of the game. CSUEB got back within four points with 4:35 left, but could not close the gap any further.
The Tritons held a 42-31 advantage in rebounds, while the Pioneers had eight steals. UCSD got 19 points out of its bench, while all of CSUEB's scoring came from its starting five. The Pioneers were successful on only one of their 12 three-point shots.
Perry finished with a game co-high 14 points, all four of her field goals coming from behind the arc. MacLeod registered 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Bertsch had 10 points and Miranda Seto dished out five assists. MacLeod's point and rebound totals were both career-highs.
"We had really great contributions from players that came in and executed what we needed to do," said VanDerveer. "This was by far Cassie's best game, she played with a lot of energy and poise. She really kept us in it in the first half and we're excited about her performance tonight."
For the Pioneers, Rachel Finnegan booked a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Lopez had 14 points, seven boards and three assists, while Tori Breshers totaled 11 points.
The teams split the regular season series as Cal State East Bay took a 78-58 victory at RIMAC Arena on Jan. 10.
UCSD closes out its home season next week, hosting San Francisco State on Friday, Feb. 21, and Sonoma State on Saturday, Feb. 22. Both games are slated to tip at 5:30 p.m. The four senior Tritons (Dautremont, Kim Manlangit, Rachel Marty and Perry) will be honored prior to Saturday's game.