Diaz's shooting sparks Upper East Siders

Written by Daniel Olson | Photo by Dwight Rey
January 26, 2017

Natalie Diaz scored 22 points as the Upper East Siders improved to 5-0 with a 51-27 win over Triple Threat on Monday in women’s A-League basketball.

“My shots were falling and the team was really hustling,” said Diaz, junior health, physical education and recreation major.

Diaz scored the first eight points for the Upper East Siders, including a pair of three-pointers, as her team jumped to an 11-4 lead. Carolina Lopez kept the score close for Triple Threat early in the first half. Lopez sank a short hook shot, then scored again after snagging an offensive rebound, to cut the Upper East Siders’ lead to 13-11, before the first half was over.

However, several turnovers and hurried shots slowed the Triple Threat offense. The Upper East Siders took advantage by scoring layups in transition and making open shots on the wing against the Triple Threat’s zone defense.

The Upper East Siders hit three straight three-pointers, one by Corrine Atiga and two more by Diaz, keying a 15-0 run late in the first half.

A layup by Triple Threat forward Ayisha Allen snapped the scoring drought, and Lopez added two more baskets before halftime to trim the Upper East Siders’ lead to 30-17 at halftime.

Any consideration for a Triple Threat comeback was erased shortly after halftime as Diaz, who had 16 points in the first half, scored the first six points of the second half. Atiga and Ally Stock also added multiple baskets during a 17-0 run for the Upper East Siders as Triple Threat went nearly 11 minutes in the second half without scoring.

Ally Stock finished with 11 points for the Upper East Siders, while Corinne Atiga added 10.

Lopez, who scored 12 points for Triple Threat in the first half, did not score in the second half.

“I think we need to work on our passing more,” said Lopez, a junior nursing major. “Next game, I think we need to work on our defense as our team was slacking covering the outside shots.”

Triple Threat, which fell to 3-2 with the loss, switched to man-to-man defense in the second half, but they had few answers for an Upper East Siders team that topped the 50-point mark for the second time this season.

“We played really good defense tonight,” Diaz said. “We did a good job getting rebounds and creating offensive opportunities. Our center and forwards really stepped up tonight.”