Looking for their first win of the new year, the Sonoma State women’s basketball team faced off against the UC San Diego Tritons and the Coyotes of Cal State San Bernardino this weekend at the Wolves’ Den.
Their bid for a win looked promising in the first half of Friday nights’ game against the Tritons, but having only 9 girls in uniform made fatigue set in quickly, ultimately dooming both games for the Seawolves.
Sonoma State shot an incredible 70 percent (7-10) from the 3-point line in the first half on Friday.
“We just had to come out with momentum and we were able to do that,” said Junior Captain forward Bronte Sheehan of the hot start by her team.
But, the last three halves of the weekend saw only eight Seawolf threes enter the basket. The 35-25 halftime lead over the Tritons was steadily cut into throughout the second half. It disappeared for the last time with 6:44 left in the game when the Tritons took a 56-54 lead and never looked back. The game ended with the score of 74-62 in favor of UCSD.
“We had a lot of energy. We knew it was going to be tough…we just kind of went pedal to the metal and it worked out for us. We kind of just ran out of gas towards the end,” said Senior forward Kristina Fahey.
This year’s team at full capacity, fully eligible and fully healthy, hosted 13 girls in its playing rotation. Running out of gas is human, to say the least, when going from having 13 girls share the playing load, down to 9.
Starting with a personnel disadvantage, Saturday night’s game seemed more favorable for the short-handed Seawolves, who came into the weekend with a record of 2-10 overall and 1-7 in the CCAA. UC San Diego, Friday night’s opponent, came into the weekend at 8-4 overall and 5-3 in conference. But Cal State San Bernardino was only one game ahead of Sonoma State prior to Saturday’s game at 3-9 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
The one game lead in the standings didn’t turn out to be the most important difference going against the Lady Seawolves. The biggest difference was the fact that the Coyotes had 13 girls who played in Saturday night’s game compared to the Seawolves’ 9.
The Sonoma State women again started hot in the first half, at least from the 3-point line, shooting 3-6 before the break. The good shooting kept them within striking distance at the end of the half, being down by only five, 26-21.
But the gas tank emptied extremely quickly in the second half. The energy was way down for the Lady Seawolves, being out rebounded 18-9 in the second half while committing 22 turnovers for the game. The final score of the game was 66-45 in favor of the Lady Coyotes.
“It’s a struggle, we have a really young team. Every year it seems that we hit some kind of adversity and this year it happened to be both injuries as well as grades. There’s been a lot of consistency with the girls being so young and it’s tough…we’re trying to make the most with what we’ve got,” said Assistant Coach Taylor Vigil.
Vigil knows of the struggles associated with the girls’ basketball team here seeing as she was a student-athlete on that team for four years before graduating just last May.
Both the Sonoma State men and women head out to play a four game road trip before returning home to play Cal State L.A. on Feb. 7.
The women’s game starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men at 7:30 p.m.