Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Sophomore forward Mikayla Williams scored a career-high 24 points with eight rebounds in the Tritons' 86-66 victory over Cal State San Marcos.

Tritons Show 'Grit' In Victory Over Cal State San Marcos, 86-66


LA JOLLA, Calif. — After suffering their first loss since November, the Tritons were determined to show how resilient they are.

Mission accomplished.

The University of California San Diego women’s basketball team shrugged off a slow start to defeat Cal State San Marcos, 86-66, on Tuesday evening at RIMAC Arena.

The win put the Tritons back on track after being handed their first California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) loss of the season last week at home against Stanislaus State. UC San Diego (16-3, 12-1 CCAA) now sits two full games ahead of Cal Poly Pomona for first place in the conference standings.

Sophomore forward Mikayla Williams scored a career-high 24 points with eight rebounds, junior guard Joleen Yang scored a season-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, senior forward Dalayna Sampton recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Kayla Sato also tallied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Tritons fell behind 19-11 at the end of the first quarter, but outscored Cal State San Marcos (5-11, 5-7) by 12 in the second quarter and 19 in the fourth to improve to 5-0 all-time against the Cougars.

“Our word for this game was ‘grit,’” said Yang, who shot a perfect 5-for-5 from 3-point range. “We wanted to prove to ourselves and our conference that we weren’t going to back down. We carried that into this game, so after one bad quarter we weren’t just going to lie down and give it to (Cal State San Marcos). We came back strong.”

After taking a four-point advantage into halftime, the Tritons extended their lead to 41-33 less than one minute into the third quarter after baskets inside by Sampton and Williams. Cal State San Marcos responded, however, with a 7-0 run capped off by a Lupe Cruz 3-pointer that put the Cougars back ahead, 48-47.

After Cal State San Marcos took a four-point lead late in the third quarter, a Yang 3-pointer in transition followed by Sampton’s steal at midcourt and layup at the other end while being fouled put UC San Diego back ahead, 56-55, heading into the fourth.

A jumper by junior forward Shandiin Armao pushed the Tritons’ lead to six early in the fourth quarter, and Armao followed it up with a nice spin move and layup through the lane to make it 65-59 with 7:24 left.

Leading by eight with five minutes to go, another Yang 3-pointer put an exclamation point on an 11-0 run to make it 82-63 with 1:55 to play.

The Tritons had a 41-23 rebounding edge for the game, and have now outrebounded each of their last 13 opponents. UC San Diego entered Tuesday’s game ranked second in the nation in rebounding margin by an average of 11 per contest.

The Tritons wrap up their three-game homestand on Saturday, when UC San Diego plays host to Sonoma State beginning at 5:30 p.m. at RIMAC Arena.


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