UC San Diego 83, Western Washington 64
Dec. 20, 2006
LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- Tournament MVP Leora Juster had game highs of 34 points, 10 assists and five steals, leading UC San Diego to an 83-64 victory over nationally ranked Western Washington University in final-day women's basketball action Wednesday at the first Great Western Shootout being held at Valley High School.
Western, ranked No.14 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25, fell to 7-2 and had a seven-game winning streak snapped. Forward Liz McCarrell (Jr., Ferndale) led four Vikings in double figures with 14 points.
UC San Diego improved to 4-2, the two losses both being to Top 25 teams. Forward Hillary Hansen had 20 points for the Tritons, 17 of them in the first half, on 8-of-12 field goal shooting.
Juster, a senior guard who entered the contest averaging 24.8 points a game, was 9-of-24 from the field, including 3-of-4 3-pointers, and perfect on 13 free-throw attempts. The 34 points were her second-highest output of the season, behind a career-high 37-point effort against Northwest Nazarene.
Western led 9-6 just over three minutes into the game but UC San Diego went on a 13-1 run to take a 19-10 lead with 11:15 left in the half and led the rest of the way, holding a 41-32 lead at halftime. The Tritons shot 50.0 percent (18-of-36) from the field in the first half to just 39.3 percent (11-of-28) for Western, which missed nine of its first 12 shots.
The Vikings scored the opening basket of the second half to close within seven, but UC San Diego scored the next six points, five of them by Juster, to take a 47-34 lead with 16 minutes left, and the margin never left double digits after that. The Tritons' biggest advantage was 22 points on two occasions in the last five minutes.
Guard Mollie Stelmack (Sr., New Westminster, BC) had 12 points and seven assists for Western. Center Claire Pallansch (So., Redmond) had 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and forward Krystal Robinson (Jr., Kent/Kentridge) added 11 points.
Juster was joined on the all-tournament team by Hansen and McCarrell, as well as Vanessa Dominguez of Cal Poly Pomona and Autumn Fielding and Kelsey Hill of Seattle Pacific. SPU defeated Cal Poly Pomona, 70-60, in Friday's other tourney game.
Western travels to Dixie State College on Thursday (5:30 p.m. MT).
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