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Women's Basketball: Big come back falls short against Skyline

Women's Basketball: Big come back falls short against Skyline

SRJC 56, Skyline College 60

             The Bear Cubs (1-4) played their first home game of the season in the opening round of their own Caren Franci Invitational Tournament against the Skyline College Trojans (4-2). The Trojans scored first after 77 seconds of play. Sadie Irvine's jumper quickly tied the score. Ashley Hart's fast break layup on the Bear Cubs' next possession briefly gave them the lead. The Trojans swished a 3-pointer and followed it with a field goal. Zaina Depina's scoring drive with 6:49 on the clock made the score 6-7. The Bear Cubs made their next seven shots in a row, mostly on drives past defenders and fast breaks, to jump out in front 21-14 with 1:51 remaining. The Trojans scored the last two points of the quarter, cutting the Bear Cubs' lead to 21-16.

            Tiffany Salinas made one of two free throws in the first minute of the second quarter and the Trojans made two of them 13 seconds later. Sadie Irvine hit a 12-footer at the 8:08 mark for a 24-18 lead. The Bear Cubs missed their next six shots and turned the ball over five times to open the door for the Trojans to score 11 unanswered points and surge ahead 29-24. La Donna Saint Louis finally broke the scoring drought with one free throw with 1:49 on the clock. The Trojans responded with a 3-pointer followed by a 10-footer. Sadie Irvine hit another shot, and the Trojans added two more field goals to end the quarter with a 36-27 advantage.

            The Bear Cubs missed their first three shots of the third quarter, then Tiffany Salinas and Sadie Irvine each made two field goals to get within a single point at 35-36 with 6:00 on the clock. Then the Trojans hit two field goals and a 3-pointer before Destiny Grayer sank a 2-pointer with 3:26 left. The Trojans finished the period with a 7-1 run to lengthen their margin to 50-38.

            Zaina Depina scored on a drive 44 seconds into the final quarter. The Trojans scored a field goal on their next possession. A minute later Zaina Depina was fouled on a 3-point attempt, but only made the first of three free throws. Two field goals each by post players Meme Nicolis and Tiffany Salinas closed the gap to 49-52 with 4:12 remaining. The Trojans' post player scored on a shot inside the key with 3:49 on the clock. Jenny Eggers put in a tough shot near the basket, making the score 51-54 with 2:24 left. The Trojans made two free throws 16 seconds later. Tiffany Salinas was fouled with 1:16 to go, but made just one free throw. After a Trojan miss, La Donna Saint Louis dropped in a field goal with 50 seconds to play, putting the score at 54-56. The Bear Cubs called a timeout to set up a full court defense, but before play resumed the Skyline coach called a timeout so they could inbound the ball near their bench. The Trojans passed the ball in and within seconds Sadie Irvine stole the ball. The Bear Cubs called their final timeout with 39 seconds to go and the score still 54-56. After play resumed the Bear Cubs ended up turning the ball over then having to commit a foul. Victoria Langi made both free throws for a 58-54 lead with 29 seconds left. Ten seconds later, Tiffany Salinas sank a tough shot. The Trojans called a timeout to advance the ball to the front court sideline. The Bear Cubs couldn't come up with a steal, so they had to foul. The shooter made the first free throw but missed the second. Tiffany Salinas grabbed the rebound and quickly passed to Sadie Irvine, who drove too deep instead of looking for a 3-pointer to tie the score. But the Trojans intercepted a pass and quickly drew a foul with just 8.8 seconds to go. The first free throw was good for a 4-point lead. The second missed and Ashley Hart pulled in the rebound. The Bear Cubs got off two close shots that weren't successful. The 56-60 loss drops the Bear Cubs into the consolation bracket.

            The Bear Cubs had a terrific first quarter, making 10 out of 15 shots (67%) on mostly drives and fast breaks, but made only 2 out of 12 in the second quarter (17%). In the second half, they made 13 out of 37 shots (35%). The Trojans outscored their hosts by 10 from the free throw line, making 16 out of 21 to the Bear Cubs' 6 out of 14.

            Victoria Langi, who scored 15 points in the first half for the Trojans, led all scorers with 20 points. Sadie Irvine led the Bear Cubs with 16 points. Tiffany Salinas recorded her second double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Zaina Depina contributed 7 points and 3 assists. Meme Nicolis added 6 points, La Donna Saint Louis 5 points, Ashley Hart 3, and Madison Barsuglia, Destiny Grayer, and Jenny Eggers each scored 2 points. Sadie Irvine grabbed 8 rebounds and made 5 steals.