March 7, 2013
Wahine 67 – Highlanders 57

After starting the season 8-4, the women’s basketball team now finds themselves winding down in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. The Highlanders have dropped 13 of their last 16 matches with the road loss to Hawai’i 57-67.

The first half consisted of baskets being traded by both teams until Hawaii was able to put together a 9-4 run to take a 37-28 lead at halftime. UCR’s only lead came early in the first half, when they led 10-6 with 13:45 left to go.

At the start of the second half, the Highlanders rallied with an 11-2 run to tie the game up at 39 a piece with 13:37 to play.

Hawaii quickly answered the Highlanders’ run with a 6-2 run and later by a 8-1 run to obtain a 55-42 lead with 7:45 to go.

The Wahine lead would prove insurmountable, even though the Highlanders were able to cut it to 5 points (58-53) with 3:50 remaining, as Hawaii scored 9 of the last 13 points to earn the victory.

Three Highlanders finished in double figures against the Wahine. Brittany Crain led UCR and all scorers with 23-points. Highlander Jamila Williams had 14-points and Natasha Hadley trailed close behind with 12-points.

With the loss, the Highlanders fell to 11-17 on the season, with their last chance for redemption in the regular season finale against Cal State Northridge on Saturday, March 9.

March 9, 2013
Matadors 55 – Highlanders 54

Albeit on bad terms, the free-fall finally ended for the UC Riverside women’s basketball team as they concluded the regular season with a one point loss to the Cal State Northridge Matadors, 55-54.

Both teams played a competitive first half, with seven tied scores and 4 points being the largest lead for either side. At the halftime buzzer, the score was justly a 28-28 deadlock.

The Matadors opened the floodgates at tipoff of the second half, opening up a 12-4 run to give them a 40-32 lead with 15:08 to go in the match. Brittany Crain’s jumper and Natasha Hadley’s layup would cut the lead, but Ashlee Guay responded with a layup and a three-pointer. That opened up a 9-point lead for the Matadors.

With 3:42 remaining, the Matadors led by a score of 51-45. However, the Highlanders were able to chip away at the lead, scoring 7 unanswered points, including a clutch Crain three-pointer to give them a 52-51 advantage with 47 seconds left to play.

A missed layup by Ashlee Guay on the ensuing possession gave the Highlanders a chance to extend the lead or even run out the clock. But they committed the cardinal sin in crunch time: a turnover. Randi Freiss’ stole the ball and with a layup, she put the Matadors up 53-52. Crain was able to respond with a layup of her own, giving the Highlanders a 54-53 lead with 20 seconds to go. With the last possession in hand, Guay nailed a game-winning layup to end the Matadors’ season on a high note.