SRJC 40, Mt. SAC 51
In the battle for Third Place in the College of Sequoias Tournament the Bear Cubs (4-2) were matched against the Mounties (9-1) of Mt. San Antonio College, who were ranked #1 in the South but had lost in the previous round to Sierra College of the Big 8 Conference.
The Mounties scored first nearly two minutes into the game. Vai Thompson tied the score 45 seconds later. A field goal by Niambi Saint Louis and a 3-pointer by Kylie Oden gave the Bear Cubs a 7-6 lead at the 4:45 mark. The Mounties made a 6-0 run to jump out in front 12-7 with 1:22 on the clock. Madison Barsuglia got the Bear Cubs within two with a 3-pointer from the baseline 19 seconds later. Kerianne Noonan's field goal with one second remaining tied the game at 12 as the quarter ended.
The Mounties scored three field goals and the Bear Cubs just one during the first four minutes of the second quarter. Melyra Nicolis sank the Bear Cubs' second field goal of the quarter with 2:12 left to make their deficit 17-23. The Mounties added one more field goal and the Bear Cubs just a single free throw by Kerianne Noonan. By halftime the Mounties were ahead 25-18.
The Mounties took 77 seconds to score their first basket of the third quarter. Kylie Oden's successful 3-pointer at the 8:15 mark was the Bear Cubs' first shot attempt of the quarter. A field goal by Melyra Nicolis and a 3-point play by Kerianne Noonan moved the Bear Cubs to 26-28 with 3:24 on the clock. The Mounties then hit a 3-pointer and followed with a field goal to stretch their lead to 33-26 with 1:55 remaining. The Bear Cubs could only add two free throws by Kerianne Noonan, while the Mounties scored a field goal to end the quarter ahead 35-28--the same point differential they held when the quarter began.
The Mounties scored the first three points of the final quarter. Kylie Oden made two shots in a row, the second one from beyond the 3-point line to cut their deficit to 33-38 with 7:52 to play. But the Bear Cubs missed their next 10 shots, allowing their opponents to lengthen their lead to 42-35 with 3:26 left. Brooke Santander finally scored for the Bear Cubs, converting a 3-point play with 2:08 remaining. The Mounties' 6'1" center banked in a one-foot shot 16 seconds later. Melyra Nicolis was fouled with 1:43 to go. She made the first free throw but not the second. The Mounties were able to make another field goal to go up 46-39 with 1:23 to play. Melyra Nicolis drew another foul with 56 seconds left. Again she made the first free throw but missed the second. The Bear Cubs couldn't come up with a steal, so they were forced to foul. The Mt. SAC player made both free throws. The Bear Cubs missed their next shot attempt and were unable to grab the rebound. They fouled again to stop the clock. The opposing player made both free throws. The Bear Cubs again came up empty on the offensive side and had to foul again. Their opponent made one of two free throws with 29 seconds to play. The Bear Cubs still were unsuccessful to put any more points on the scoreboard. When the final buzzer sounded, the Mounties had won by a score of 51-40, capturing Third Place.
Against the Mounties the Bear Cubs committed only 11 turnovers but made just 10 out of 18 free throws (55.6%). The Bear Cub shooters struggled, making only 13 out of 63 shots (20.6%). The Mounties came into game averaging over 73 points per game and making over 46% of their shots. The Bear Cubs held them to 51 points and 38% shooting (18 out of 50).
Kylie Oden, who was selected All Tournament, led the Bear Cubs in scoring with 12 points, including three 3-pointers. Kerianne Noonan, the Bear Cubs' other All Tournament player, scored 8 points, passed for 5 assists, and made 4 steals. Melyra Nicolis contributed 7 points and 6 rebounds. Niambi Saint Louis and Brooke Santander each scored 4 points. Madison Barsuglia added 3 points and Vai Thompson 2.
The Championship game of the tournament featured two Big 8 teams. San Joaquin Delta College defeated Sierra College by a score of 82-69.