Photo by  Jie Huang
Photo by Jie Huang

Feb. 28, 2013
Mustangs 94 – Highlanders 59

The women’s basketball team got blown out of their gym by Cal Poly 94-59. The lady Highlanders played a bad first half, which saw themselves in a 37-point deficit at halftime, trailing 50-13.

UCR in the first half shot 17 percent for only 13 points. The 13 points tied a record low for fewest points in a half since joining Division I. The last time they scored 13 points in a half was in 2004 against the University of San Diego.

The Mustangs had 10 players that scored in the first half, as the Highlanders were led by Brittany Crain, scoring 8 points. Cal Poly shot 55 percent from the field and 70 percent from three point range, shooting 7-10. Mustang Kayla Griffin led all scorers with 12 points after one half.

In the second half, Jamila Williams scored 21 points for the Highlanders as UCR scored 46 points. However, the 37 point deficit was too much for the Highlanders to make a comeback, as their defense allowed 44 points in the second. They allowed the Mustangs to shoot 51 percent from the two and three point range.

Bad shooting, turnovers and the inability to stop Cal Poly’s offense killed any type of momentum for the Highlanders. They tried to cut the lead many times with threes, but ended up going 2-10 from beyond the arc. The turnovers by Riverside gave the Mustangs easy opportunities to score on the fast break, with 22 points off turnovers, as UCR coughed the ball up 18 times.

March 2, 2013
Gauchos 62 – Highlanders 42

The women’s basketball team lost the Homecoming game against UC Santa Barbara 62-42. It would be the last home game for seniors Leah Washington and Tre’Shonti Nottingham. Unfortunately, Nottingham was out with an injury.

The game started off with two free throws for the Highlanders after a technical foul was called against UCSB. The teams would then exchange baskets for a 8-8 tie. The Gauchos ran a lot of half-court sets and took advantage of fast break opportunities on turnovers or missed shots. Gaucho Nicole Nesbit scored on a layup with seven minutes left in the first half to take a 21-14 lead.

The Highlanders were getting beaten defensively as they allowed the Gauchos to pass the ball in the paint and score often. UCR faced a 12-point deficit after Gaucho Sweets Underwood scored on a layup and later a free throw. The Highlanders trailed 32-17 at halftime, while shooting 25 percent from the field and turning the ball over nine times.

Akilah Martin led the Highlanders in the first half with 6 points and Natasha Hadley scored 5 points. For the Gauchos, Nicole Nesbit scored 12 points and Underwood contributed 7 points.

UCR played with a sense of urgency in the last six minutes of the second half as they attacked the basket and switched its defensive schemes often. They pressed, trapped and went into zone coverage against the Gauchos.

With all the changes, the Highlanders were only able to cut the deficit to about 12 points. Highlander Hadley and Brittany Crain carried the offense for the Highlanders.  Hadley finished with 15 points and Crain contributed with 10 points. UCR was unable to complete the comeback and they have now lost six in a row.