By Jacques Lee |Staff Writer|
The Coyote women’s basketball team started off the 2015 California Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) Tournament with a bang!
The Coyotes played the first game of the tournament against the University of California San Diego Tritons on Thursday, March 5 at The Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.
The women came into the game with a 14-8 record, ranked fifth in the CCAA Conference trailing the Tritons who are ranked fourth with a record of 16-6.
The Coyotes helped their cause by dominating on the line and scoring a fifth of their points by free throws.
The Coyotes beat the Tritons 68-59, despite being days after the Tritons beat the Coyotes 64-61 on Feb. 28.
Even with the loss looming in the back of their minds, the Coyotes continued into the tournament with a win in their sights.
The game started off rough for the Coyotes, letting the Tritons jump out to an 8-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game.
The Coyotes pulled within one before letting the Tritons go on an 8-0 run and take a 16-9 lead with 11:28 to go in the first half.
Midway through the first half the game began to get closer with both teams not being able to get further ahead of the other.
In the final ten minutes of the first half neither team could take more than a four point lead, and the game would have seven different lead changes.
The first half ended with the Coyotes trailing 32-30.
The start of the second half began just as the first half did: slow, steady, and with minimal scoring.
Both teams continued to battle and the scoring see-sawed back and forth.
With 14:04 left Brianna Harden was fouled and hit both of her free throws to give the Coyotes a pivotal 45-43 lead.
Harden came up again with a huge three-pointer with 10:50 left, giving the Coyotes a 52-47 lead, and from there the Coyotes never looked back.
The Coyotes kept their lead and only let the Tritons tie the game once at 52 all.
In the final minutes of the game the Coyotes were able to get ahead from the Tritons and go on a 19-2 run to finish off their great win.
The win was a team effort as the Coyotes had three players score in double digits.
The team was led by guard Chelsea Barnes, who went 11 for 19 scoring 22 points, and forward Adriana Brodie who had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
They were followed in scoring by teammates Briana Harden with 13 points, Alexcia Mack with 9, Briana Baker with 6, and Chelsea Austin with 4.
The Coyotes were fouled 16 times during the game with 10 of those coming in the second half.
Those fouls led to the Coyotes going to the free throw line.
The women shot an impressive 93.3 percent from the free throw line making 14 out of their 15 free throw shots.
With this in the Coyotes will stay alive and move on to the semi-final round to play Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday March 6th at the Stockton Arena.