SAN MARCOS, Calif. - Lackluster shooting and turnovers doomed the University of California San Diego as it suffered a 62-53 loss to Cal State East Bay in the championship game of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women's Basketball Tournament Saturday night at The Sports Center on the campus of Cal State San Marcos.
UC San Diego shot 35.6 percent (21-59) for the game, its fifth-lowest of the season. The Tritons made just 17.6 percent (3-17) of their attempts in the third quarter. They hit three of their 14 three-point shots on the night, 21.4 percent.
Sixteen UCSD turnovers led to 19 points for Cal State East Bay.
With the loss, top-seeded UC San Diego dropped to 23-6 overall. The Tritons will wait until Sunday to learn their fate for next week's eight-team NCAA West Regional. They entered Saturday's game ranked fifth in the West.
Cal State East Bay, which won its second consecutive conference crown, improved to 22-8 and earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Regional.
Mikayla Williams had 14 points and nine rebounds, both team-highs for UCSD. Dalayna Sampton totaled 11 points, while Beth Mounier and Joleen Yang each had 10. Mounier equaled Williams with nine boards and also had four steals.
For the Pioneers, Shomari Harris turned in a game-high 24 points. Remy Puou added 10 points and Morgan Greene led all players with 13 rebounds.
East Bay shot 42 percent (21-50) overall and hit eight of 18 three-pointers, 44.4 percent. They also racked up 11 steals.
With the score tied 29-29, Harris hit a jumper with 30 seconds left in the second quarter to put the Pioneers up for good. They scored the first 11 points of the third frame to take a 13-point lead, 42-29.
The Tritons got back within three when a Williams layup made the score 48-45 with 4:35 remaining in the game. However, that was as close as they would get.
Mounier and Sampton were named to the all-tournament team. Thursday, both were selected to the All-CCAA First Team with Sampton named the league's Newcomer of the Year.
The NCAA West Regional field and host will be announced on Sunday, March 5 at 7 p.m. PT via a live selection show at NCAA.com.