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Women's Basketball: Slow start holds Bear Cubs back

Tiffany Salinas shooting
Tiffany Salinas shooting

SRJC 44, American River College 62

             The Bear Cubs (7-14, 2-5) had to endure more than an extra hour in heavy traffic to trek to Sacramento to take on the Beavers (14-7, 5-2) of American River College. The game got off to a ragged start as both team missed shots and committed turnovers. The Beavers got on the scoreboard first with a 3-pointer at the 8:22 mark. Nearly two minutes later they added a field goal followed by a 3-pointer, prompting a Santa Rosa timeout. When play resumed, neither team could score. In the final 2:10 of the period, the Beavers sank two field goals and a 3-pointer. In the first 10 minutes of the game, the Bear Cubs turned the ball over 8 times and missed all 11 of their shot attempts to spot their opponents a 15-0 lead.

            The Bear Cubs missed their opening shot of the second quarter, and then Tiffany Salinas scored on a drive and La Donna Saint Louis on a turnaround 3-footer. After failing on their next 10 shot attempts, the Bear Cubs finally added two points on Salinas' post move with 2:38 on the clock, making the score 6-28. Tiffany Salinas put in the final field goal of the period just before the buzzer to go into halftime behind 8-28.

            The Bear Cubs inbounded to start the third quarter, and after working the ball around Tiffany Salinas passed to La Donna Saint Louis, who swished an 8-footer. The Beavers quickly scored on a drive. After a single missed shot, the Bear Cubs made four in a row, the last two by Salinas, to get to 18-37 with 5:34 on the clock. The Bear Cubs' last basket of the period, which came with 4:38 left, was a 3-pointer by Sadie Irvine. Two free throws by Saint Louis and one by Destiny Grayer with 17 seconds remaining got the Bear Cubs back 20 points down as the quarter ended with the score 24-44.

            Tiffany Salinas started the scoring on the first shot of the fourth quarter. The Beavers then sank their opening shot and followed it with a 3-pointer. Sadie Irvine's jumper was answered by two consecutive Beaver field goals to make the score 28-53 after just over two minutes of play. The Bear Cubs then went on a 10-0 run, which was bookended by Tiffany Salinas' successful post moves, with a free throw by Jenny Eggers and a field goal and 3-pointer by Irvine in between to cut the deficit to 38-53 with 3:50 left. The Beavers didn't make any more baskets but did sink 9 out of 10 free throws in the remaining time. The Bear Cubs' scoring ended with back-to-back 3-pointers by Angel Bernardi and La Donna Saint Louis, as they outscored their hosts in the final period 20-18 to end up with a 44-62 loss.

            The Bear Cubs played their worst opening quarter on offense (0 for 11), and they only made 4 out of 19 (21%) in the second quarter. They were able to shoot in better rhythm in the second half, making 6 out of 11 (55%) in the third quarter and 8 out of 18 (44%) in the fourth. The Bear Cubs were 4 for 12 from the free throw line (33%), while the home team made 18 out of 23 (78%).

            Tiffany Salinas, who picked up two fouls in less than two minutes to start the game and was relegated to the bench, led the team with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Sadie Irvine scored 12 points and pulled down 6 missed shots. La Donna Saint Louis added 11 points, Angel Bernardi 3, Zaina Depina 2, and Jenny Eggers and Destiny Grayer 1 each.

Next home game is Tuesday 1/31 at 5:30pm against Cosumnes River