On Friday, Nov. 29, the Highlanders traveled to Arizona to battle against the University of Arizona where they lost by a substantial margin. The final score was 70-27, in favor of the Arizona Wildcats.
The Wildcat defense put the clamps on the Highlanders offense and made it tough for them to score. Arizona forced UC Riverside to commit turnover after turnover, leading to a season-high 29 in total. The Wildcats on the other hand only turned the ball over 12 times.
Although UCR struggled offensively, shooting only 21% from the field, the Highlanders held the slight advantage on the boards as they outrebounded the Wildcats 34-31. Despite the rebounding edge, Arizona more than doubled UCR’s second chance points. The Wildcats finished the game with 19 points off of second opportunities while UCR finished with just seven. Arizona’s bench provided a spark, totaling 39 points while UCR’s only scored two.
The leading scorer for the Highlanders was Otto, who finished with nine points and seven rebounds. For Arizona, junior guard Aari McDonald scored 14 points while freshman guard Mara Mote added 12 points and two steals. Arizona displayed a more balanced attack with six players scoring more than five points.
UCR battled against Colorado State (4-3) on Sunday, Dec. 1. The Highlanders kept the game close most of the way but Colorado prevailed in the end to win 52-40.
Once again, UC Riverside held the advantage on the boards as they out rebounded the Rams 45 to 44. While the Highlanders had the edge on the defensive rebounds, the Rams grabbed more offensive rebounds as a team.
Both teams struggled to shoot the basketball all game long as the Highlanders only 24% and the Rams shot 28% from the field. This was especially evident when the two teams combined to score only eight points total in the second quarter.
Colorado had the upper hand over UCR with three-pointers and free-throws made. The Rams converted on seven three-pointers on 25% compared to the Highlanders six on 22%. In addition, Colorado had 14 free-throw attempts and made nine, three of which were converted by sophomore guard Tori Williams.
Marina Ewodo, a senior forward from France, was the leading scorer for the Highlanders with 13 points. Ewodo also added seven rebounds to the box score. Otto contributed nine points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Colorado redshirt junior forward Jamie Bonnarens scored 15 points and added three rebounds. Junior guard Megan Jacobs and graduate student forward Makenzie Ellis each scored nine points a piece for the Rams.
Up next, the Highlanders will battle against Riverside rival Cal Baptist University (7-3) on Thursday, Dec. 5.