SRJC 54, SJ Delta 62
In their third round contest of the College of the Sequoias Tournament the Bear Cubs (4-1) squared off against a Big 8 foe, the Mustangs of San Joaquin Delta College (7-1) who are ranked #2 in the North. The Bear Cubs won the tipoff and Vai Thompson was fouled on a shot as she cut to the basket. She made the first free throw but missed the second. A minute later Kylie Oden hit a 3-pointer for a 4-0 lead. The Mustangs put in two 3-pointers before Brooke Santander sank one for the Bear Cubs at the midway point of the first quarter. The Mustangs scored two field goals to take a 10-7 lead at the 3:16 mark. Melyra Nicolis scored the last field goal of the quarter with 1:55 on the clock to make the score 9-10 when the buzzer sounded.
The Mustangs scored 10 seconds into the second quarter off a Bear Cub turnover. Brooke Santander and Vai Thompson each hit a field goal for the Bear Cubs to briefly give their team the lead 13-12. But the Mustangs went on an 8-0 run to take a 20-13 lead with 3:40 left in the quarter. The Bear Cubs were able to finish the quarter with two free throws by Kerianne Noonan and a free throw and field goal by Vai Thompson to go into halftime down 18-20.
The Mustangs scored first in the third quarter on a layup following a Bear Cub turnover. Niambi Saint Louis converted a 3-point play with 9:07 on the clock. The Mustangs missed their next shot attempt, but again converted an easy layup after intercepting a Bear Cub pass. On their next possession the Mustangs swished a 3-pointer to jump out in front 27-21 at the 7:52 mark. Consecutive field goals by Saint Louis and Oden cut the Bear Cubs' deficit to 25-27 with 7:07 on the clock. The Mustangs then went on another 8-0 run to increase their margin to 35-25 with 3:27 in the quarter. A free throw and a 3-pointer by Oden, two field goals by Thompson, and a 3-pointer by Brooke Santander helped the Bear Cubs end the quarter down by four points, 36-40.
Four of the Mustangs' first five scoring baskets of the fourth quarter came on 3-pointers and with 5:54 left, their lead had widened to 54-40. The Bear Cubs responded with five straight baskets, including a 3-pointer by Oden to get to within 51-58 with 1:59 to play. Kerianne Noonan's 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining tightened the gap to 54-58. The Bear Cubs were forced to foul and the Mustangs finished by making four out of six free throws. Meanwhile the Bear Cubs were unable to score, losing by a score of 54-62.
The Bear Cubs played good defense for most of the game, but hurt themselves by committing 31 turnovers and making only 8 out of 17 free throws (47%).
Kylie Oden made three 3-pointers on her way to 12 points and led the team in rebounding with 8. Vai Thompson also scored 12 points and pulled down 6 missed shots. Brooke Santander's two 3-pointers helped her tally 10 points. Niambi Saint Louis, who sat most of the first half due to foul trouble, scored all 7 of her points in the second half. Kerianne Noonan didn't get off as many shots as usual and finished with 5 points. Zaina Depina and Melyra Nicolis added 4 points each. Santander and Saint Louis each grabbed 6 rebounds. Noonan passed for 9 assists and made 3 steals.
The Bear Cubs next play Mt. San Antonio College, the #1 ranked team from the South, in the Third Place game Sunday.