ONTARIO, Calif. - Erin Dautremont drained a career-high 28 points as the UC San Diego women's basketball team rolled to a 67-51 win against Cal State Monterey Bay in a California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship Tournament semifinal Friday at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
Second-seeded UCSD, which improved to 21-10, will face No. 4 Cal State L.A. in Saturday's title game at 5 p.m. CSUMB, the 2012 tournament champion, fell to 19-8 with the loss.
"Your goal, no matter where you are, is to be in the championship game," said first-year UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer. "We have a very talented team, they've worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position and we're very excited."
An All-CCAA First Team performer, Dautremont's 28 points, which led all players, came off of 10-for-19 shooting and a 6-for-7 effort from the free throw line. The junior forward made a pair of three-pointers and also finished with five rebounds and two steals.
"I knew it was going to be a big game and I just had to play as if it was my last game because we're not guaranteed a spot in regionals," said Dautremont. "If I didn't come out with a lot of energy and make big plays, then it could have been our last game of the season."
Senior guard Daisy Feder, recently named the CCAA's Most Valuable Player, netted 23 points and added a game co-high seven rebounds. Fellow senior guard and All-CCAA First Team selection Emily Osga had seven points, seven rebounds and a share of the game-high four assists. Junior guard Megan Perry totaled seven boards and three steals.
Gabby Munsch was the lone Otter to hit double figures in points with 15. She also led her team with six rebounds. Five Monterey Bay players had two steals apiece.
The start of the game was sloppy with five turnovers in the first two minutes of play, four of those committed by Cal State Monterey Bay. However, it was UCSD that finished with 20 turnovers, its second-highest total of the season. The Otters gave the ball up 13 times.
"Daisy and Miranda (Seto) both had a little foul trouble early, so we tinkered with our lineup a little bit," said VanDerveer. "We settled down quite well."
Dautremont had five points early on a trey and a jumper to help get UCSD out to a 7-2 lead with five minutes gone in the opening half. CSUMB climbed right back in it and took an 8-7 lead with a jumper by Holly Holcomb at 13:14. The teams then traded points, making it 10-9 in favor of the Otters. At 9:47, Osga hit a jumper in the paint that gave the lead back to UCSD for the rest of the game.
With the score 13-12 in favor of the Tritons with 7:20 left in the first half, UCSD reeled off 11 unanswered points and led by 12, 24-12, at the 4:06 mark. Feder dropped seven points during the run. Monterey Bay would only get as close as eight points before halftime, with UCSD taking a 30-21 advantage into the locker room.
The Tritons dominated the second half, making 47.8 percent (11-for-23) of their shots compared to the dismal 27.0 percent (10-for-37) effort by the Otters. Dautremont opened the stanza with a jumper to put UCSD up by 11 and CSUMB would never close the gap any closer than that. A free throw by Feder with 4:10 left in the game gave UCSD an 18-point lead, its largest of the game, at 58-40.
Cal State Monterey Bay made just four of its 23 three-point attempts, 17.4 percent. UCSD hit six of 13, 46.2 percent. The Otters got 28 of their 51 points from bench players, while the Tritons' starting five scored all but five of the team's points.
Cal State L.A. (21-10) earned a spot in Saturday's final with a 66-53 upset of top-seeded Chico State in Friday's early game.
The Tritons defeated the Golden Eagles in both regular season meetings this year with a 70-49 win in Los Angeles and a 68-58 victory in La Jolla.
"It's going to be another tough battle," said Dautremont, who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the season's first match-up with Cal State L.A. "They just beat the number one seed, so we have to come out ready to play. They're going to be amped too, and we just have to give it our all."
Both teams will be playing for their first CCAA Championship Tournament crown. UCSD lost in the 2008 title game, while Cal State L.A. was defeated in the final game in 1988, 1991 and 2012.
The winner of Saturday's game earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Regional. The game can be followed via a video stream and live stats at the CCAA's official tournament page.
-- UCSDtritons.com --