Triton Women's Basketball Team Clinches Regular Season Crown
March 2, 2010
Chelsea Carlisle's 11 points and eight assists keyed a 16-point victory over Sonoma State.
Chelsea Carlisle scored 11 points and Tiffany Hunter finished with 10 to lead a balanced offensive attack, as the UC San Diego women's basketball team defeated visiting Sonoma State 68-52 on Wednesday night at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons improved to 14-0 on their home floor in 2009-10 and clinched their second consecutive California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship with the win.
UCSD improved 23-3 overall and 18-3 in conference play to wrap up the regular season crown and claim the No. 1 seed in next week's CCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. The Tritons put together an impressive 19-1 conference season to win the championship in 2008-09.
Head coach Charity Elliott's squad entered Wednesday's matchup with just a single game lead over second place Cal Poly Pomona, but with a 2-0 head-to-mark against the Broncos, Pomona's hopes of catching UCSD were dashed.
"Its a tremendous accomplishment to win the conference championship in such a competitive league," Elliott said. "That was definitely one of our goals coming in to the season and we're happy to have accomplished that, but the job is far from done."
The Triton offense shot just 42% from the field, but their defense held Sonoma (10-16, 8-13 CCAA) to just over 37%, including a paltry 27% clip in the opening half. UCSD outscored the Seawolves 34-20 in the paint and 11 different Tritons got into the scoring column.
Carlisle went 4-of-10 from the field and dished out a game and season-high eight assists. She also finished with four rebounds and a pair of steals. Hunter finished one rebound shy of her second double-double in a four-game span, hitting 3-of-7 attempts from the floor and 4-of-5 at the free throw line.
UCSD leapt out to a 15-4 lead after the game's first eight minutes as Erin Noonan, Annette Ilg, and Daisy Feder connected on three-pointers against a zone defense from Sonoma. The Seawolves missed 13 of their first 15 shots until Stephanie Barnes' triple with 8:30 remaining cut the Triton lead to six (15-9).
Ilg sank a pair of free throws to give UCSD a 22-11 advantage two minutes later and Carlisle's layup with 3:07 left in the half made it 31-18. The Tritons led 35-20 following a turnaround jumper by Ilg with 38 seconds left and took a 35-22 margin into the locker room at the break.
UCSD's cushion hovered around 15 points for much of the second period until a three-point play from Jennifer Russo and a bucket by Roxanne Rentschler cut the margin to 53-42 with 8:11 remaining. That's as close as the visitors would get, as Charity Smith answered with a layup on the other end and the Tritons scored six unanswered to push the lead back to 18 and put the game away.
Russo led the Seawolves with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting, while Rentschler connected on 3-of-9 and finished with eight.
UCSD will wrap up the regular season on Friday night against Humboldt State. Triton seniors Ilg, Noonan, Leilani Martin, and Kristen Cabral will be honored prior to tipoff.