Last week, the UCR women’s basketball team (15-13, 9-6) was sitting at third place in the Big West standings, only a half game behind Long Beach State (20-9, 11-3) in the loss column. The two teams played each other last Thursday, with possession of second place on the line. Long Beach ended up topping UCR 73-66, and are now in prime position to secure their ranking if they win out for the remainder of the season. In the loss, UCR Senior Simone DeCoud put up 23 points, while junior Michelle Curry put up a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. The 20 turnovers hurt the Highlanders, seven of which, came in the third period, as well as two in back-to-back possessions during the final three minutes of regulation. The loss put UCR a half game behind Cal State Northridge ― who they also ended up losing to on Saturday, Feb. 25, 79-70.
At Northridge, DeCoud continued to lead the Highlanders in scoring by putting up 22 points, while sophomore forward Malou De Kergret chipped in 15 points in 27 minutes of play. UCR was able to cut its amount of turnovers from last game in half this time around, committing 10 throughout the entire course of the game. Despite that, however, they were unable to prevent CSUN from shooting 50.8 percent from the field, as well as 50 percent from 3-point land.
The loss secures the Highlanders a spot no higher than the fourth seed, as they remain one and a half games behind Cal State Northridge, who now owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. UCR was given a golden opportunity to really hold a firm grip on the second spot ― matching up against both Long Beach and Northridge over the past week, but were unable to take advantage of the moment. In terms of standings, UCR controls their own destiny and looks to win out in the last game of the season against conference-leading UC Davis. The Highlanders will recognize the Riverside native and its sole senior DeCoud for “Senior Night” on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at the SRC Arena.