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Women's Basketball: Bear Cubs take 3rd place in the Merced Tournament

Amber Hart jumps center for the Bear Cubs vs Merced
Amber Hart jumps center for the Bear Cubs vs Merced

SRJC 75, Merced College 63 

In the Third Place game of the Merced College Tournament, the Bear Cubs were matched against the host Blue Devils. The home team scored a 3-pointer on their first possession. Amber Hart scored the Bear Cubs' first points on a field goal a minute later. Following a field goal by the Blue Devils, Brooke Santander tied the score at 5 with a 3-pointer. The hosts would score and eventually the Bear Cubs would tie the game. A 3-pointer by Alicia Mehtlan and a 3-point play by Brooke Santander put the Bear Cubs on top 14-9 with 11:30 on the clock. When the Blue Devils hit a 3-pointer at the 7:32 mark, it cut the Bear Cubs' lead to 19-16. Beginning with Jenna Dunbar's 3-pointer, the Bear Cubs outscored their opponents 14-4 the rest of the half to take a 33-20 lead into halftime. 

The Blue Devils started the second half with a field goal and two 3-pointers to pull to within 10 points. At the midway point of the half, they cut their deficit to just 5 points, 46-51. The Bear Cubs then scored 5 unanswered points for a 56-46 advantage. The Blue Devils' fifth 3-pointer of the half got them to 59-67 with 3:22 remaining in the game. Free throws by Brooke Santander and Taylor Graham and a field goal each by Sarah Arteseros and Brooke Santander lengthened the lead, as the Bear Cubs went on to earn the Third Place plaque with the 75-63 victory. 

Against Fresno City College in the second round game, the Bear Cubs only made 8 out of 16 free throws. But in this afternoon's game, an important factor in the Bear Cubs' win was their success at the free throw line. They made 23 out of 28 (82%). Brooke Santander made 8 out of 10, Alicia Mehtlan 6 out of 8, and Taylor Graham 6 out of 6. The Blue Devils only scored 6 points at the free throw line out of 15 attempts.  

Jenna Dunbar rediscovered her shooting touch and led the Bear Cubs with 16 points. Alicia Mehtlan scored 15 points before fouling out at the 4:55 mark. Brooke Santander, the only Bear Cub player to score in double figures in all three games, totaled 14 points. Niambi Saint Louis played her best game and scored 7 points, including a 3-point play. Amber Hart, who went out with a serious ankle injury with 4:24 left in the first half, scored 6 points. Sarah Arteseros and Taylor Graham each also scored 6 points. Brittney Rachuy added 4 points, and Vai Thompson 1. Jenna Dunbar and Alicia Mehtlan were the top rebounders with 7 each. Taylor Graham led in assists with 5 and in steals with 3. 

Alicia Mehtlan was selected to the All Tournament team.