Monday, December 13, 2010

UC San Diego Women's Basketball Release - December 13


With a nine-day layoff for final exams under their belts, the UC San Diego women’s basketball team will return to the court to face two of the bottom three teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings this week. The Tritons will host winless Cal State East Bay on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m., before entertaining nemesis Humboldt State on Saturday in a 12:30 p.m. start. Both games will be held at RIMAC Arena on the UCSD campus.

UCSD enters Tuesday’s clash with Cal State East Bay with an overall record of 3-6 and a 1-1 mark in the CCAA after splitting two road games to kick off conference play December 4-5. The Tritons were on the short end of a frustrating 92-91 double overtime decision at Cal State Monterey Bay to begin the trip, but bounced back with a gritty 66-52 triumph over San Francisco State the following night. Head coach Charity Elliott’s squad has won three of its last four after dropping five straight to open the season.

UCSD’s defense has had its struggles at times this season, but the Tritons were dialed in defensively in the 14-point win over San Francisco State. UCSD held SFSU to just 52 points on 36% (18-50) shooting from the field, which were both season-lows for an opponent. The Tritons forced a total of 29 turnovers and finished with 16 steals in the game, both high marks in 2010-11, as well. UCSD didn’t have its best performance offensively, shooting just 40% (23-57) against SFSU, but the Tritons were able to pick up their first win away from home and they did it playing the Gators’ kind of game. If they can replicate that performance on the defensive end this week, they should be in great shape.

• Cal State East Bay comes to town searching for its first victory of the season at 0-6 overall following a pair of losses to Domini- can (53-46) and Academy of Art (66-56) at the CCAA/PacWest Challenge over the weekend. The Pioneers are 0-2 in confer- ence play after dropping back-to-back games at San Francisco State (46-38) and Cal State Monterey Bay (56-38) December 3-4. Senior guard Claudia Nelson is averaging a team-high 10.2 points through six games, while sophomore forward Lauren Lucchesi is putting up 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds. Sophomore Marlene MacMillian is the squad’s leading rebounder at 9.0 boards per night to go with 4.7 points. Cal State East Bay currently ranks 11th in the CCAA averaging just 46.0 points per game, while the defense ranks fifth allowing 59.8.

• Humboldt State starts the week with an overall record of 3-4 after defeating Academy of Art (76-73) and Dominican (76-52) on its home floor during the CCAA/PacWest Challenge last weekend. The Lumberjacks are also winless in CCAA play at 0-3 following narrow losses to Chico State (64-62) and Cal State Stanislaus (81-78) December 3-4. Junior forward Bree Halsey has been a beast down low so far in 2010-11, averaging team-highs of 14.4 points and 10.9 rebounds, while frontcourt mate Jeanette Dewitt enters Sunday’s matchup averaging 12.7 points and 7.1 boards. HSU ranks fourth in the conference offensively at 72.6 points per game, while the Lumberjack defense is surrendering 69.4, a figure that ranks ninth. The Lumberjacks will have had a full six days off when they arrive in La Jolla to play the Tritons on Sunday.

UCSD has won four out of five previous meetings with Cal State East Bay and holds a slim 7-6 edge in the all-time series with Humboldt State. The Tritons swept the Pioneers in their first official season as a member of the CCAA in 2009-10, picking up a 78-61 victory in Hayward on December 15 and then taking the rematch in La Jolla, 96-73, on February 16. UCSD didn’t have nearly as much success against HSU last season, as the Lumberjacks dealt the Tritons three of their five losses on the year. After the two teams split the regular season series, Humboldt defeated UCSD in the CCAA Tournament Semifinals, 82-78, and then handed the Tritons a season-ending 76-72 loss in the NCAA West Regional First Round a week later in Seattle.

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