LA JOLLA, Calif. - Daisy Feder scored a game-high 20 points and Lauren Freidenberg finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds to propel the No. 1 UC San Diego women's basketball team to a thrilling 78-63 victory over Cal State L.A. on Friday evening at RIMAC Arena.
Energized by a vocal Spirit Night crowd of 2,296, UCSD outscored the visitors 20-6 over the final five minutes to hand Cal State L.A. its first loss since early January. The Tritons trailed by as many as eight points during an ugly first half, but rallied to sweep the season series with the Golden Eagles and keep their perfect record intact.
UCSD improves to 21-0 overall and 15-0 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play with the win, increasing its lead over second place Cal State L.A. to four games. The Tritons, who have put together the best start in the history of the CCAA, have now won 24 of their last 25 conference games spanning the last two seasons.
Cal State L.A., which had won six straight and nine of its last 10 overall, falls to 13-6 overall and 11-4 in the CCAA. The Golden Eagles' last loss was on January 7, a 53-49 setback to Sonoma State.
Daisy Feder led four players in double figures for the Tritons, finishing 6-of-19 from the floor and 4-of-10 from the three-point line. She also added eight rebounds and two assists. Freidenberg recorded her second double-double in four games, converting seven of her nine attempts from the field.
Chelsea Carlisle added 16 points, four assists and three steals, while Erin Dautremont chipped in with 12 points and five boards.
UCSD collected its 21st straight win despite shooting just 39% from the field. The Tritons hit 17-of-27 in the second half, a blistering 63%, after finishing a woeful 11-of-24 in the first period, 24%.
Lacy Ramon scored 14 points for the Golden Eagles, who shot 47% (26-55) for the game. Jazzi Johnson finished with 13 points and five rebounds, while Samantha Hansen scored 10 points off the bench.
UCSD was ice cold to open the game and fell behind 15-7 after missing 21 of its first 25 shots. A three-pointer by CSULA's Erika Ruiz gave the visitors a 24-16 lead with six minutes remaining in the period, but UCSD answered with 13-2 run to take a 29-26 lead with 56 seconds left in the half.
Feder and Carlisle combined to hit three triples during the run as the Tritons begin to find seams in the Golden Eagle zone.
Lucky to have a one-point lead at the half, UCSD extended its lead to nine at 43-34 with 14:24 remaining following back-to-back baskets from Dautremont and Carlisle. Cal State L.A. hung around though, cutting the deficit to just one (58-57) with 4:50 left to play.
The Tritons punched right back as Carlisle answered with a deep three to stem the tide. Feder scored less than a minute later to spark an 8-0 run as UCSD grabbed a 71-59 lead to deliver the knock out blow with 2:08 remaining.
The Tritons kept adding to their margin, taking their biggest lead of the game at the final horn.
UCSD held a 41-35 rebounding advantage, finishing with 18 offensive rebounds in the game. The Tritons scored 22 second chance points, while the Golden Eagles managed just 10.
Friday night's crowd was the largest ever for the women's game on Spirit Night.
The Tritons return to the court on Saturday to face Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Toros (3-19, 2-13 CCAA) are coming off a 64-50 loss at Cal State San Bernardino on Friday.