Defense Reigns as Tritons Dominate Sonoma State, 80-43
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. — Junior Kayla Sato scored a game-high 19 points to lift the University of California San Diego women’s basketball team to a road victory over Sonoma State, 80-43, on Friday evening at the Wolves’ Den.
Sophomore forward Mikayla Williams finished with 17 points and six rebounds, junior guard Joleen Yang scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting and sophomore guard Stephanie Moore scored a career-high nine points with three steals off the bench.
The Tritons forced 17 turnovers and held Sonoma State to just 27.6 percent shooting from the field, including 0-for-13 from 3-point range. The 43 points allowed matches the season low with UCSD's win over Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 30.
UC San Diego (18-3, 14-1 CCAA) improved to 8-0 on the road this season and has now won 22-consecutive games against Sonoma State (8-12, 5-11). The Tritons have won 14 of their last 15 games overall.
“It was a great team win,” said UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer. “We set the tone with our defense from the beginning and did a great job of sustaining it for 40 minutes.”
The Tritons took firm control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Seawolves in the period, 23-11.
Junior Marcella Hughes began the second quarter with her first field goal since returning to the lineup after a three-game absence, and a 3-pointer by Sato later in the period put UC San Diego on top, 29-14, with 6:46 left before halftime.
A bucket inside by Mikayla Williams off a pass from Rebecca Williams put the Tritons ahead by 15, and Yang’s corner three made it 34-16 with 4:51 remaining in the half. Another Yang 3-pointer followed by Mikayla Williams’ layup off Taylor Tanita’s assist pushed the lead to 39-16 with 2:49 to go in the second quarter.
UC San Diego made 7-of-11 3-point shots in the first half and finished the game 9-for-17. Sato made each of her first four attempts from deep and finished 5-for-6. Yang, the nation’s leader in 3-point field goal percentage, went 3-for-6.
The Tritons extended their lead to 60-26 in the third quarter on Moore’s offensive rebound and bucket inside, followed by her steal and assist to Yang for a fastbreak layup with 2:55 left in the period.
Redshirt freshman Layla Ybarra-Harvey made her first-career appearance in the fourth quarter, recording her first two points and first rebound in six minutes played.
UC San Diego wraps up its road trip on Saturday evening against San Francisco State beginning at 5:30 p.m.