Triana Anderson (senior) scored her 1,000th point during the Occidental Women’s Basketball against Chapman University Feb. 14. Starting the game for the Tigers, Anderson made her 99th career appearance.
With 3:26 left in the third quarter Anderson had scored 14 points, taking her career total to 999 points during her time at Occidental. With the Tigers trailing 47–66, Chapman player Marissa Dunn (sophomore) fouled Anderson, sending her to the line to shoot two free throws. At this point, Anderson was well aware she needed to make just one of the next two shots to reach a remarkable individual milestone. She made her first shot.
“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until it was happening,” Anderson said.
Head coach Anahit Aladzhanyan then took a 30-second time-out to let Anderson soak in a little of what she just accomplished. During the time-out, Aladzhanyan took the time to say a few words in tribute to Anderson, whose outstanding scoring has been a constant throughout each year of her Occidental career.
“She’s just been such a consistently hard worker who doesn’t settle,” Aladzhanyan said. “I think she exemplifies that if you put in the work, it pays off.”
Anderson then had to regain her focus and return to the court for her second free throw. She made that shot as well.
Occidental went on to lose the game 97–69. They concluded the season with a 70–63 loss at Pomona-Pitzer Feb. 17, putting an end to what Anderson admits was a disappointing season.
While the team may not have achieved the successes Anderson had hoped for, Anderson excelled individually. She recorded a career-high average of 12.9 points per game on the season and was recently named as an All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) first team selection, an honor teammate Emily Leonard (sophomore) said was well-deserved.
“That was super exciting,” Leonard said. “She’s too humble to boast about it but we want to make sure she gets the recognition she deserves.”
Anderson has played in every game since joining Occidental as a first year and finished her career with 100 appearances for the Tigers, starting 77 games. She started every game for the Tigers this season, just as she did in her first year.
Anderson explained how her favorite basketball memory at Occidental actually came in the last of these 100 appearances.
“At the end of the Pomona game, my coach put the four seniors in and just let us play, and we had an amazing fourth quarter,” Anderson said. “I was in there with my teammates who’d been there for four years and we were just playing and having fun.”
Anderson was also quick to thank those who have helped her along the way. From her parents to middle school and high school coaches, all the way through to her coaches and teammates at Occidental, Anderson expressed her appreciation to everyone who has played a part in her basketball journey so far.
“I can’t believe that I got to have a collegiate career, that’s amazing and there’s so many people that helped make that happen,” Anderson said.
Anderson finished her Occidental career with 1,023 points but vowed to continue to play. As a physics major, Anderson plans to work for a year or two after graduating from Occidental. She then wants to attend graduate school, where she would like to focus on either geophysics or environmental engineering.
While Anderson has several plans for the future, she will leave behind her a number of teammates and coaches who are incredibly proud of what she has achieved.
“I’m tremendously proud of her,” Aladzhanyan said. “Whatever she decides to do, I know she’s going to be successful.”
Triana’s mother, Jennifer Mezey, explained how she never doubted that her daughter would reach the 1,000 point mark during her time at Occidental.
“Her motto has been to let go of the things she can’t control and work like hell on the things she can control,” Mezey said via email. “Am I surprised Triana made 1,000 points? No. She set it as a goal and then she worked for it.”