The UCSB women’s basketball team squandered a seven-point, fourth-quarter advantage on Saturday, falling to the UC San Diego Tritons, 73-71.
UCSB (2-7 overall, 2-3 in Big West) trailed by eight points at the break, but outscored the hosts 20-9 in the third period to take a three-point lead into the fourth.
Taylor Mole’s jumper with 6:49 remaining gave UCSB a 60-55 advantage. The Tritons (2-1, 2-1 in Big West) would knock down a number of foul shots to draw within one, 60-59, before Doris Jones converted a layup with 4:46 remaining to make it 64-59.
Jones struck again with 3:25 left to make it 66-59, though the lead would not hold.
San Diego’s Sydney Brown nailed a three pointer on the ensuing possession to make it 66-62.
Layla Ybarra-Harvey’s layup with 2:49 left made it 66-64 in favor of UCSB.
Anya Choice split a pair from the line with less than two-and-a-half minutes to go to make it 67-64. A layup by Tyla Turner cut the lead to one, though Mole was able to hit from deep to make it 69-66 with 1:27 left.
Turner would convert again on a layup for the Tritons to cut into the lead, but Mole continued to provide the offensive punch. Her layup with 37 seconds left made it 71-68 in favor of UCSB.
San Diego’s Aishah Brown made it 71-70, though after a timeout, UCSB’s Danae Miller turned the ball over.
Turner was unable to convert on a jumper, though Brown secured the board and knocked down her first attempt from the line. Tied at 71 with 22 seconds left, Brown would miss the second, but got the offensive board and was able to call a timeout. Turner’s jumper with five seconds left gave the Tritons the lead, 73-71.
Choice’s three-point attempt at the buzzer was no good, allowing San Diego to come away with the win.
UCSB shot 44% from the field, though made just three of its 11 attempts from three-point range. The Tritons held the rebounding edge, 38-31, though the Gauchos outscored the hosts 38-38 in the paint.
Turner led all scorers with 24 points on 9-18 shooting. She added seven rebounds and five assists. Parker Montgomery added 14 points, while Brown contributed 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.
For UCSB, Mole led the way with 22 points, making eight of her 10 attempts from the field. She added six rebounds and two steals.
Choice finished with 18 points, while Jones added 13 points and eight rebounds. Miller was held scoreless, missing all five of her shot attempts. She still contributed, however, adding six assists and three steals.
The Gauchos won’t return to play until Jan. 29, when they take on UC Davis.