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Dunbar sets school record with 9 3-pointers, Bear Cubs take over second place

Dunbar sets school record with 9 3-pointers, Bear Cubs take over second place

SRJC 73, Sacramento City College 60

             The Bear Cubs (17-10, 8-4) hosted the Panthers of Sacramento City College (20-7, 8-4) in a battle for second place in the Big 8. The Panthers won the tipoff, missed their first shot, but came up with the rebound and passed out to their leading scorer, Jessica Lauderdale, who swished a 3-pointer. Brooke Santander sank the Bear Cubs' first shot on a pull-up jumper at the free throw line. After three unsuccessful scoring attempts, the Bear Cubs added two points on a Vai Thompson post move. The Panthers answered with a 3-pointer for a 6-4 lead after three and a half minutes of play. Back-to-back field goals by Brooke Santander and Kerianne Noonen put the Bear Cubs ahead for the first time 8-6. The Panthers swished another 3-pointer to re-take the lead. Kerianne Noonen's 3-pointer and follow-up 2-pointer gave the Bear Cubs a 13-11 lead with 3:01 on the clock. Lauderdale hit another 3-pointer with 2:47 left, and Jenna Dunbar made a 3-pointer of her own with 1:11 remaining to help the Bear Cubs end the quarter in front 16-14.

            Jenna Dunbar started the scoring in the second quarter with three consecutive 3-pointers followed by a Vai Thompson 3-point play for a 28-15 margin after less than three minutes of play. Brooke Santander added a field goal and Kerianne Noonen a 3-pointer and two free throws for a 35-20 lead at the 4:03 mark. The Bear Cubs finished the quarter with one 3-pointer and two 2-pointers by Dunbar and one 3-pointer by Noonen, while the Panthers just added one free throw and a 3-pointer by Lauderdale. By halftime the Bear Cubs held a 45-24 advantage.

            The Bear Cubs scored during their first three possessions of the third quarter on a drive by Niambi Saint Louis, a drive by Vai Thompson, and a fast break layup by Saint Louis to widen the lead to 51-24 with 8:14 on the clock. The Panthers made their first points of the quarter on a Lauderdale 3-pointer 22 seconds later. After nearly two more minutes of play Vai Thompson scored on a post move. Jasmine Bernardo sank her third 3-pointer of the game 17 seconds later. Brooke Santander scored on a drive and then Bernardo dropped in another 3-pointer. Jenna Dunbar's 3-pointer with 4:29 left made the score 58-33. The Bear Cubs didn't score again until Hayley Louzao drew a foul on a drive to the basket with 47 seconds remaining, and she made one free throw. The Panthers, though, finished the quarter with a 10-1 run to cut their deficit to 43-59.

            With the Bear Cubs' starters still on the bench to begin the fourth quarter, the Panthers continued to claw their way back, scoring the first 8 points, to close the gap to 51-59. With the starters back on the floor, Niambi Saint Louis finally broke the scoring drought with two free throws at the 6:44 mark. The Panthers answered with a field goal 20 seconds later. Jenna Dunbar's 3-pointer with 5:08 on the clock pushed the Bear Cubs' lead to 64-53. Lauderdale's 7th 3-pointer of the game reduced her team's deficit to 56-64. Two Panther free throws with 3:55 on the clock moved the Panthers closer at 58-64. Neither team scored until Jenna Dunbar swished another 3-pointer with 2:59 left. The Panthers responded with a field goal 22 seconds later. Again both teams were unable to score until Dunbar made the final basket of the game, her 9th 3-pointer, with 55 seconds to play. The Bear Cubs' defense prevented the visitors from scoring and they were forced to foul. Kerianne Noonen made one free throw and Jenna Dunbar two as the Bear Cubs breathed a sigh of relief when the final buzzer sounded signaling their 73-60 victory.

            The Bear Cubs made 50% of their shots in the first quarter (7 out of 14), but had their best shooting quarter of the season during the second period. They made 10 out of 14 shots (71%), including 6 out of 7 (86%) from beyond the arc. In the third quarter they made 6 out of 11 (55%) shot attempts, but only sank 3 out of 14 (21%) in the fourth.

            For the Panthers, Jessica Lauderdale made 7 out of 10 from 3-point land and finished with 24 points. Jasmine Bernardo made 4 out of 9 3-point shots and ended up with 13 points.

            Jenna Dunbar set a new school record with 9 3-pointers on just 14 attempts (64%). She was also 2 for 4 from inside the 3-point line and 2 for 2 from the free throw line for a career-high 33 points. Kerianne Noonen made 3 out of 5 shots from 3-point range and finished with 16 points. Vai Thompson added 9 points, Brooke Santander 8, Niambi Saint Louis 6, and Hayley Louzao 1. Jenna Dunbar also led in rebounding with 7. Kerianne Noonen led in assists with 5. Brooke Santander and Jenna Dunbar each passed for 4 assists.

            The win guarantees that the Bear Cubs can't finish any worse than a tie for second place in the Big 8 with just one game remaining against first place Sierra College (23-6, 12-1).