UCR’s women’s basketball team won their second game against California State University Fullerton (CSUF). In a show of force, the Highlanders came in off the momentum generated by Game 1, coming away with a 15-point deficit.

The Highlanders opened up the scoreboard after freshman forward Kari Kyrkjebo stole the ball and drove it into the basket with an easy layup. The Titans replied with a solid jumper. UCR then went on the attack, going on an 8-0 run. CSUF managed to sneak in another shot, leaving the scoreboard 10-4 in the first five minutes of the game. CSUF tried to stay in the game but ended up sending UCR to the charity stripe. Junior forward Bryanna Brady successfully shot both free throws. The Titans attempted to get a run going, scoring two back-to-back shots before the Highlanders managed to get in another shot. With the scoreboard now 12-8, UCR went on a 5-1 run in the last two minutes of the quarter. UCR finished ahead 17-9.

Going into the second quarter of the game, the Highlanders were able to find their rhythm in an effort to extend their lead. As they tightened up, UCR forced CSUF into a six minute drought. The Highlanders went on an 8-0 run until Joy Krupa, the senior forward from CSUF, halted their charge. This prompted a 6-0 run from the Titans, leaving the scoreboard 25-17 with under two minutes left in the first half. A solid 3-pointer from UCR’s freshman forward Suzan Kinran prompted CSUF’s sophomore forward Kathryn Neff to score a 3-pointer of her own. UCR managed to gain another 2 points before ending the first half on top 30-20.

Despite the Titan’s consistency in the second half, the gap created in the first 20 minutes of the game proved to be too wide. Both teams went head to head in the first three minutes of the third quarter, each gaining 4 points. CSUF tried to break away, going on a 6-0 run before being stopped with another 3-pointer from Kinran, leaving the score 37-30, UCR still on top. Both teams went head-to-head again, each gaining 4 more points. Again, UCR managed to sneak in another 2 points in the last five seconds before the end of the quarter. UCR managed to stay ahead 45-34 before heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.

UCR came in strong into the final quarter of the game, going on a 6-0 run before CSUF could score. CSUF replied with a layup, UCR got in 2 points of their own. The Titans got another 2 points which prompted the Highlanders to go on another 7-0 run before the Titans could score again. This helped cement UCR’s lead 60-40. With just under three minutes left in the game, there wasn’t much left for the Titans to do. They managed to go on a 9-4 run, but it was too little too late. UCR won the game 94-49.

The Highlanders improved significantly in comparison to last week’s game. Shooting at 49% in field goals and scoring 76.9% from the free-throw line. They also managed to force CSUF to turnover the ball 23 times, allowing UCR to score 26 points off those turnovers. The charge was led this week by sophomore guard Georgia Ohiaeri who gathered 14 points.

Coach Nicole Powell praised her team’s ability to perform despite everything presently happening in UCR’s press release.

“I am really proud of this team and those aren’t empty words. We really have been through a lot of adversity, and this team has a lot going on; midterms, the pandemic, real life, and on top of that we have been hit with a few injuries. We have had to pivot and adjust this weekend.” She continued, “I couldn’t be prouder of this group for keeping their heads on their shoulders, especially in the middle of the grind of the season. Right now, we need some rest so we can prepare to get back out there!”

The women’s basketball team will get back out there on Feb. 12 and 13 against the University of California, Irvine.

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