LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego women's basketball team took on No. 9 Chico State Friday in front of a huge crowd at RIMAC Arena, where it stunned the Wildcats with the first blemish on their once-perfect record in the form of a 71-65 victory.
The Tritons improve to 7-7 overall and 5-2 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play. They will host Cal State Stanislaus (2-10, 1-6 CCAA) on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Senior guard Daisy Feder scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Tritons. Feder also had game-highs in both rebounds and assists, with nine and five, respectively as well as a steal.
The Santa Monica native was supported by sophomore forward McKennan Bertsch, who contributed 12 points, three rebounds and two steals. Senior guard Emily Osga and junior forward Erin Dautremont both scored 11 points and had seven rebounds. Osga also had three assists, two steals and a block.
Leading the way for the Wildcats was senior guard Synchro Bull, who tallied 13 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore forward Analise Riezebos also had 13 points in addition to six rebounds, two assists and a block.
The attendance of 1,012 was the largest ever recorded for a non-Spirit Night game in UCSD women's basketball history at RIMAC Arena. Spirit Night is an annual event that showcases competition among students from all six of UCSD's colleges.
Stronger offense in the second-half allowed the Tritons to score 13 more points than the Wildcats in the final 20 minutes. Defense also did its part, holding the Wildcats to a 0-for-9 performance in the closing half behind the arc.
UCSD entered into the second half at the wrong end of a 40-33 score but scored three unanswered points in the opening minute on account of Dautremont's free throw nine seconds into the closing half and Bertsch's layup at the 19:05 mark.
After junior forward McKenzie Dalthorp hit a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up, 46-42, with 14:27 remaining, UCSD cut the lead to a point on Feder's trey at the 13:14 reading.
Three possessions later, Osga drilled a three-pointer to give the Tritons their first lead since the middle of the first half and made the score, 48-46. Dautremont capped off the 8-0 run with 11:13 to go on a layup, bringing the Tritons to a four-point, 50-46 advantage and the Tritons never allowed CSUC to regain it.
During a stretch midway through the half, Bertsch added six straight points to the Tritons' score with two layups and a jumper. The jumper ended the run at the 7:02 mark while giving UCSD a 56-50 lead.
The lead was as high as six on multiple occasions for the Tritons during the second half. The last basket which resulted in a six-point UCSD lead, aside from the final one, occurred with 2:06 remaining when Feder nailed a three-pointer to give the Tritons a 65-59 lead.
CSUC trimmed the lead to as little as three points twice in the closing minutes. The last instance was when Bull made both of her free throws with 27 seconds left in regulation, making the score, 68-65.
However, the lead returned to six points, 71-65, after a free throw by junior guard Megan Perry, with 23 seconds remaining, and a pair of free throws by Feder, with 14 seconds left where the score remained at the buzzer.
UCSD jumped onto the board on their first possession when sophomore guard Miranda Seto hit a three-pointer just 12 seconds into the game to give the Tritons a quick 3-0 lead.
Nearly two minutes later, Feder made a layup to extend the lead, 5-0. CSUC junior guard Jazmine Miller then put the Wildcats on the board with a layup at the 17:28 mark, making the score, 5-2.
But with the Tritons leading, 7-2, the Wildcats scored six points in a row, all on layups, including one by Dalthorp and two by Bull. The second layup by Bull concluded the run with 15:21 remaining and gave the Wildcats an 8-7 advantage.
Within a minute, the lead changed hands four more times in a stretch that ended with Riezebos giving the Wildcats a 12-11 lead at the 14:05 mark.
Halfway through the first half, Feder scored six consecutive points for the Tritons in a span of points that finished with UCSD down by a score of 20-17 with 11:21 before the half.
The Tritons regained their final first-half lead after Dautremont made back-to-back layups, giving the Tritons a 21-20 lead with 9:42 prior to the intermission.
The Wildcats, however, went on a 6-0 run which ended on a Riezebos layup with 7:32 left in the half and pushed CSUC ahead by five points, 26-21.
UCSD's deficit became as large as seven points, 38-31, when senior guard/forward Monnie Davidson-Mays scored a layup with 2:13 to go in the opening half. With 50 seconds remaining, Bertsch made another layup to reduce the Wildcats' lead to five while changing the score to 38-33.
Riezebos then made a layup to return the lead back to seven and the score to 40-33, where it remained for the rest of the half.
The Wildcats (10-1, 6-1 CCAA) travel to Cal State San Bernardino (6-5, 4-3 CCAA) for a contest scheduled to commence at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
-- UCSDtritons.com --