SRJC 55, Merced 48
In their second round game at the Merced College Tournament, the Bear Cubs faced the host team, who won their first round game against DeAnza College by overcoming a 12-point deficit to eventually win by 12 points.
Kerianne Noonan sank the Bear Cubs' final field goal at the 3:20 mark in the fourth quarter to give her team a 45-38 lead. The Blue Devils hit a 2-footer with 1:50 remaining. Noonan was fouled on a drive with 1:24 left. She hit both free throws for a 47-40 margin. The Blue Devils scored 9 seconds later. Eleven seconds later Noonan was fouled again. She hit both free throws. Five seconds later the Blue Devils banked in a close shot. With 39 seconds on the clock, Noonan was fouled and made both free throws. Seven seconds later the Blue Devils swished a 3-pointer, cutting the Bear Cubs' lead to 51-47. Brooke Santander was fouled after receiving the inbounds pass and made one of two free throws. The Blue Devils pushed the ball and drew a foul on the drive to the basket with 24 seconds on the clock. The Merced player made the first free throw but missed the second. As Noonan tried to dribble out of a crowd, she was fouled. She missed the first free throw but swished the second. The Blue Devils made an errant pass that sailed out of bounds. The Bear Cubs inbounded to Noonan, who was fouled with 6 seconds left. She made both free throws to stretch the lead to 55-48. The Blue Devils' final shot fell way short as the buzzer sounded. The win earns the Bear Cubs a berth in the championship game against Foothill College.
Kerianne Noonan led the Bear Cubs in scoring with 18 points, including 10 out of 12 free throws. Jenna Dunbar scored 11 points and made 5 steals before having to leave the game in the fourth quarter with a foot injury. Brooke Santander added 9 points, Vai Thompson 6, Niambi Saint Louis 5, Hayley Louzao 3, and Ashley Hart 3. Vai Thompson was the leading rebounder with 10.
SRJC 46, Foothill 65
In the championship game of the Merced College Tournament, the Bear Cubs had to take on the tough Foothill College Owls, who had beaten Fresno City College in the previous round by two points.
Niambi Saint Louis hit back-to-back baskets beginning at the 7:00 mark to give the Bear Cubs a 5-0 lead. The Owls got on the scoreboard with a 3-point play with 5:05 on the clock. With two minutes remaining in the quarter, the Bear Cubs' lead was 11-5. The Owls scored on a putback as the quarter-ending buzzer sounded to cut that lead down to 14-9.
After missing their first four shots of the fourth quarter, Brooke Santander converted a 3-point play and hit another shot the next time down for the Bear Cubs, prompting the Foothill coach to call a timeout with 6:11 on the clock and her team ahead 51-36. Brooke Santander's next basket at the 4:58 mark made their deficit 38-52. But the Bear Cubs couldn't get any closer, as the Owls finished on a 13-8 run to notch the 65-46 win and earn the Championship plaque.
With shooting guard Jenna Dunbar sidelined with a foot injury, the Bear Cubs struggled offensively, making only 12 out of 52 shot attempts (23%) but converting 21 out of 33 free throws (64%).
Kerianne Noonan, who was selected All Tourney, did not make any field goals but did swish all 6 of her free throws and passed for 3 assists. Brooke Santander also made the All Tourney team. She led the Bear Cubs with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Melyra Nicolis converted 7 out of 10 free throws and also totaled 13 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. Niambi Saint Louis scored 8 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Zaina Depina sank the only 3-pointer for the Bear Cubs. Hayley Louzao made two free throws and Vai Thompson one.
The Bear Cubs have two and a half week weeks to prepare for their next game which takes place in Visalia at the College of the Sequoias Tournament December 3-6.