CARSON, Calif. - The UC San Diego women's basketball team fought an uphill battle on Friday before pulling away with a 63-52 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills at Torodome on Friday night to extend its win streak to four.
"For 40 minutes, we were very competitive and we had a lot of poise," said Tritons head coach Heidi VanDerveer. "We made big plays both offensively and defensively down the stretch. We got big shots from Erin Dautremont and Megan Perry did an excellent job on defense."
The Tritons climb to 12-8 overall and 10-3 against California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) teams to take sole possession of second place in the conference. UCSD will conclude its six-game road trip on Saturday at fourth-place Cal State L.A. (14-6, 9-4 CCAA) in a contest scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
Junior forward Erin Dautremont led the Tritons with 18 points and four rebounds. The West Hills native was supported by senior guard Emily Osga, who had 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and a block, and senior guard Daisy Feder, who contributed 12 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a game-high five assists.
Freshman guard Monay Lee topped the list of scorers with 25 points to go along with five rebounds. Junior guard Jamie Robinson scored 11 points, a game-high nine rebounds, a team-high three assists and a contest-high two blocks.
UCSD outscored CSUDH in every shooting category. The Tritons went 24-for-57 (42.1%) from the field while the Toros ended with a 23-for-57 (40.4%) performance from the paint. UCSD also made 11 of 16 (68.8%) from the free-throw line compared to the Toros, who finished with a 6-for-11 (54.5%) effort from the same area. However, the Tritons showed true dominance in regards to three-point field-goals, hitting four of 16 (25%) attempts while holding the Toros to a lackluster 0-for-6.
Leading by three points at the start of the second half, 29-26, jumpers by Dautremont and Feder more than doubled the lead to a seven-point, 33-26 advantage in the opening minute.
After Dautremont nailed a three-pointer with 14:47 left in regulation to return the UCSD lead to seven, 43-36, CSUDH kicked off a 6-0 run to trim the Tritons lead to a point, 43-42. With 9:29 to go in the game and a score of 45-44 in favor of the Tritons, Lee tied then gave the Toros the lead, 46-45, by making her first and second free throw at that moment, respectively.
Sophomore forward McKennan Bertsch not only evened the score, 48-48, with a free throw at the 6:19 reading but also commenced a 12-0 scoring run for the Tritons. Dautremont broke the tie upon draining a jumper to pull the Tritons above the Toros by a field goal, 50-48, with 5:55 left in the game, and UCSD never looked back. Dautremont earned the team-high in points with the game's final basket, a layup just 1:12 before the final buzzer.
The first half was a see-saw battle as the score changed hands no less than nine times.
Down 2-0 after the Toros' opening possession, the Tritons then put together an 8-0 run. Osga began the run on her jumper with 17:49 to go in the first half while Feder finished it by scoring the last four points with a pair of free throws and a jumper. The jumper to cap off the run occurred at the 16:35 mark and gave UCSD an 8-2 lead.
The Toros then scored seven straight unanswered points to retake the lead, 9-8, on Lee's jumper with 13:34 left in the half, marking the first of four lead changes in a period of just under 1:30. A jumper by Osga at the 12:07 reading returned the lead to the Tritons, 12-11.
UCSD maintained the lead for nearly six minutes, until freshman guard Denisha Lundy sank a jumper to give the Toros a 21-20 lead with 6:18 left to play before the intermission. This signified another quartet of lead changes within a span of just more than two minutes. With a field goal separating the teams, Osga drained a go-ahead three-pointer at the 4:14 mark to turn a two-point deficit into a one-point advantage of 25-23.
Freshman center Taylor Hirz's jumper with 2:48 prior to halftime represented the last UCSD points of the opening 20 minutes, bringing the Tritons' lead up to four points, 29-25. A free throw by Robinson put the Toros within a trey of tying the game, 29-26, which is where the score remained going into halftime.
VanDerveer hopes to carry the thrill and energy of Friday's victory into Saturday's game against a very tough CSULA team.
"It was a very rewarding team win and we're looking forward to a big challenge tomorrow," VanDerveer said.
The Toros (6-11, 5-8 CCAA) will finish their six-game homestand against Cal State San Bernardino (7-10, 5-8 CCAA) in a Saturday contest set to begin at 5:30 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --