January 16, 2014

Aggies 77 – Highlanders 67

The UCR women’s basketball team entered Thursday’s home match against the UC Davis Aggies looking to right the ship after a 0-2 start to Big West conference play.

UC Davis jumped out to an early 17-8 lead in the first half thanks to an 11-2 run, aided by five straight points scored by Aggie Alyson Doherty. As the half progressed, the Aggies were able to extend their lead to as many as 10 points. The Highlanders, however, were able to start a 10-2 run of their own late in the first half and cut the Aggie lead to 39-38 with 1:14 to go. Subsequently, a three-pointer by Kelsey Harris extended the Davis lead to 42-38. However, a made free throw by Brittany Crain and a buzzer-beating trey by Simone DeCoud knotted up the score at 42 going into the locker room.

It seemed as though the Highlanders were the recipient of a momentum swing coming into the second half as they found themselves in the lead for the first eight minutes of the period. A Harris three-pointer at the 11:24 mark allowed UC Davis to retake a two-point lead over the Highlanders, however. Harris’ three came in the midst of a 13-0 run by the Aggies that would increase their lead to 62-53 at the 8:34 mark.

The Highlanders were never able to recover from the Aggies’ run, entering a scoring drought at the worst possible time. After shooting nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half, the Highlanders were only able to convert on 37 percent of their shots in the second, which resulted in UCR being outscored 30-16 in the final 13 minutes of the game.

Thanks to their late rally, the Aggies were able to pick up a 77-67 road win over the Highlanders, improving their conference record to 2-1 while the Highlanders continue to search for a Big West victory.


January 18, 2014

Rainbow Wahine 74 – Highlanders 61

The shooting woes continued for the Highlanders Saturday night as they dropped their second straight home game to Hawaii, falling to 0-4 in the Big West Conference.

Hawaii took control of the game early on, jumping out to a 20-7 lead that grew to 37-22 by the end of the half.

There was no solace to be found for the Highlanders in the second period, as the Rainbow Wahine used the extra 20 minutes to extend their lead to as many as 21 points. A 7-3 run by the Highlanders allowed them to cut the lead to 68-57 at the 2:15 mark, but it was too little too late as the Rainbow Wahine closed out the game and emerged victorious by a score of 74-61.

“We didn’t score when we had some opportunities. We didn’t score with a high enough efficiency,” Head Coach John Margaritis stated. “It was a game of two halves in terms of intensity level. And in terms of rebounding, we didn’t do a good job … Bottom line: Hawaii is a good team. They outplayed us. And they won.”

“It hurts to lose all the time,” Brittany Crain said. “But we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep working hard. We gotta just work hard for our coach because he’s working hard for us.”

Despite the loss, three Highlanders finished the game with double-digit scoring. Crain led the squad with 21 points, while Simone DeCoud and Natasha Hadley followed with 11 points each.

A two-game homestand looms on the horizon for the reeling Highlanders, who are set to face UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly on Jan. 23 and 25.