Nov. 26, 2013

Seawolves 83 – Highlanders 75

The UCR women’s basketball team took a Thanksgiving-week trip to the chilly north for the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage.

Facing their first opponent in the tournament, the hometown Anchorage Seawolves, the Highlanders got off to an early 23-16 lead in the first half. With the undefeated Seawolves keeping it close for much of the half and not allowing a deficit of more than seven points through the first 14 minutes, the Highlanders were able to gain the upper hand and pull away en route to a 37-23 lead at the half. Simone DeCoud paced UCR on the scoreboard with 11 points and five assists in the first period.

After shooting a dismal 21.1 percent from the field in the first, Anchorage was able to rebound from their shaky start and claw their way back into the match. A 13-4 Seawolves run cut the UCR lead to 45-49 with 11:19 to go, and another 11-2 run in the final five minutes allowed Anchorage to tie the game with two late free throws. Highlander Akilah Martin attempted a game-winning three-pointer on the final possession of regulation, but it was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.

The first overtime period was closely contested, with neither team gaining more than a four-point edge. With the score tied 71-71, neither team was able to capitalize on their final possessions, which sent the game into double overtime. The Seawolves started off the period with a 7-2 run that the Highlanders were never able to recover from due to their inability to generate any offense in the second overtime. Five successful — four of them consecutive — free throws by the Seawolves allowed them to put the finishing touches on the game and send the Highlanders into the losers bracket.
Nov. 27, 2013

Highlanders 74 – Colonels 64

 After a demoralizing double-overtime loss to Alaska-Anchorage, the Highlanders refused to let their sorrows get the best of them and finished the Great Alaska Shootout on a high note against Nicholls.

 UCR asserted their dominance from the get-go, dominating the first half on their way to a 32-15 lead with 7:06 to go. However, a 12-0 run by Nicholls cut the UCR lead to 35-27 at the half. Freshman guard Simone DeCoud once again made the most of her opportunities, leading the Highlanders in the first half box score with 16 points.

Coming out of the break, the Highlanders hit on all of their first seven shots. Nicholls also proved their efficiency, keeping pace with UCR and hitting five of eight. The Highlanders were able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the half with their efficiency on offense, never allowing the Colonels to come closer than six points of overtaking them. After attempting to foul their way back into the match in the closing minutes, DeCoud and Annelise Ito were able to hit on their pairs of free throws and close out the match for UCR.

 Next up for the Highlanders is a two-game home stand against CSU Bakersfield and Pepperdine, with the former set to take place on Dec. 3.