Anteaters cool off, flounder

Women's Basketball

UCI, among nation's best-shooting teams coming in, held to 29.5% from field against Aztecs.

December 16, 2011|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — The UC Irvine women's basketball team got a jump on the temperature gauge Friday night, as its nationally-ranked shooting proficiency cooled considerably in a 76-57 nonconference home loss to San Diego State.

The Anteaters (4-6), who had won three straight, came into the week ranked No, 16 nationally, shooting 45.4% from the field. But the taller, quicker, more aggressive Aztecs limited UCI to a 29.5% clip from the field (18 for 61).

Junior Jazmyne White, who came in shooting 59.5% (No. 11 in the nation) made three of four field-goal tries in the first half, but only one of five in the second.


Only junior reserve Cheyenne Cathey (three for five including both of her three-point attempts) and sophomore Kelly Meggs (who made her only shot from the field, a three-pointer) made more than they missed for UCI, which bundles up next week for road dates at Northern Colorado (Tuesday) and Wyoming (Thursday).

UCI was also hampered by 19 turnovers, one more than the Aztecs (5-4), who won the rebounding battle, 47-36, and bested the 'Eaters, 11-0, in second-chance points.

The win halted a three-game losing streak for the visitors, who earned praise from UCI Coach Molly Goodenbour.

"When they figure it out, they are a top-25 team," Goodenbour said of Coach Beth Burns' squad, which will join the Big West Conference in two seasons, it was announced this week. "They have athleticism and size; they just lack a little experience. The more success they have and the longer [Burns] has a chance to coach those kids, they are going to be very good in the next year or two as they develop. We're going to hit them right at the peak of their prowess [as conference rivals in 2013-14]."

It was a mismatch from the start as the Aztecs built leads of 8-2, 22-12 and 28-14.

But UCI, relying primarily on its active zone defense, held the visitors without a field goal for the final 5:50 of the half. And a pair of Cathey three-pointers, her first of the season, helped the 'Eaters head to intermission on an 8-0 run to close to within 34-30.

UCI senior guard Kassandra McCalister answered an Aztec three-pointer with a three ball of her own to open the second half, but San Diego State's subsequent 11-0 run put it in control for good.

"I thought some defensive pressure and the size and athleticism of San Diego State made us rush offensively and take bad shots," Goodenbour said.

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