Women’s Basketball vs. Nevada Recap
Four different Anteaters registered double digit scoring numbers against Nevada (4-3) Thursday evening to award first year head coach Tamara Inoue and the UC Irvine women’s basketball team (1-6) their first victory, 72-59, on the season.
Sophomore guard Andee Ritter broke out with her best shooting performance, knocking down six threes—one short of tying the program’s single game record—to lead the ‘Eaters with a career-high 23 points. Defensively, Ritter snagged a career-best eight steals, which was also just one short of tying the program’s single game record in the respective category.
Fellow seniors Shereen Sutherland and Irene Chavez both posted near double-doubles with Sutherland recording 18 points and nine rebounds as Chavez contributed 16 points while dishing out nine assists in her first start on the season.
Filling in for an injured McKenzie Piper, junior forward Sabrina Engelstad has made the most out of her opportunity in the starting lineup, converting five baskets for her for her fifth straight double-digit scoring game.
Collectively, the ‘Eaters took care of the ball well, taking on just six turnovers for the night. On the defensive end, UCI logged 17 steals and forced 23 turnovers from Nevada, which transitioned into a 26-4 advantage in points off miscues.
Nevada cracked the game open and shot 50 percent from the field to fend off the ‘Eaters for an early 16-14 advantage over the ‘Eaters
While the Wolfpack would go to extend their lead to four and hold on to the lead well into the five minute mark of the second quarter, UCI continued to battle back, deadlocking the game within the opening minute of the period and threatening to overtake the advantage at one point on a Ritter triple that had cut the lead down to one, 22-21.
With a little over four minutes left before the half, a jumper from Sutherland would reward the ‘Eaters their first lead of the night since the midway point of the first period.
Both UCI and Nevada jostled and tugged at the lead for the remainder of the quarter but a timely lay up would carry the Wolfpack up at halftime, 33-32.
In the third period, Ritter got the ‘Eaters going by drawing a shooting foul from beyond the arc and subsequently draining all three free throws to bring the ‘Eaters up by two.
From Ritter’s last free throw conversion onto the final horn, the ‘Eaters would no longer give up the lead.
Sutherland went on put in seven of her 18 points in the period as Chavez and Ritter combined for nine to go up 48-40 with two minutes remaining in the quarter.
Despite clawing back at the ‘Eaters with a pair of buckets to cut the deficit to four, it would be the closest that the Wolfpack would get as Ritter went on an offensive tear in the fourth. Raining in four of her six triples and jumper, including an eight-point flurry that came during a 11-0 ‘Eater run, Ritter paced UCI to a 72-59 victory, their first since January 23.
The ‘Eaters will look to add to their winning column and keep their momentum moving into their final non-conference road trip of the year when they head to Portland to face off against the Vikings for a 2:00pm tip off.