The #3 seeded Bear Cubs traveled to #2 seeded Fresno City College for the final round of the NorCal playoffs, with the winner advancing to the State Tournament at Cerritos College. The Bear Cubs missed their first three shots, but scored the first four points of the game. Erin Skinner's 3-pointer at the 15:50 mark put the Bear Cubs on top 7-2. Then the Rams started scoring and using their height advantage to grab offensive rebounds. The Bear Cubs missed their next nine shots, and by the time Gretchen Harrigan finally sank one with 7:50 on the clock, they were behind 9-21. Harrigan put in their final field goal with 6:10 remaining, and she made 5 out of 6 free throws the remainder of the half, making the score at the half 16-31. The Bear Cubs started the second half with tighter defense and effective boxing out of Fresno's offensive rebounders, but their cold shooting continued as they missed their fist eight shots. Madison Sowards hit one of two free throws with 16:47 on the clock, and Gretchen Harrigan broke the cold spell with a 3-point play a minute later, making the score 20-35. By the midway point of the half Fresno had built up a 47-26 advantage. The Bear Cubs were determined to keep battling and started scoring on drives through traffic. Madison Sowards' 3-pointer at the 3:57 mark made the score 35-57. The Bear Cubs sank four out of their final five shots to close the final gap to 45-60. The loss ends the Bear Cubs' season one game short of going to the State Tournament. The Bear Cubs' defense held the Rams to 22 points below their season average of 82 points per game. The Rams grabbed 16 offensive rebounds in the first half, scoring on 7 of those second chance opportunities, but only came up with one in the second half. The Bear Cubs' poor shooting in the first 24 minutes of the game (5 out of 37 for 14%) got them into too deep a hole to dig themselves out of against a tough team. They made 10 out of their final 19 shots, but it was only enough to match the Rams for the half. Gretchen Harrigan, who led the Big 8 in scoring (25.1 ppg) and field goal percentage (54.2), had her fourteenth double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but only made 6 out of 23 shots (26%) and 8 out of 11 free throws. Madison Sowards, who finished with 12 points, made one 3-pointer to give her 56 on the season and tie the school's single-season record. Stephanie Sack added 8 points, Erin Skinner 3, and Alicia Mehtlan 2. The Bear Cubs only passed for 4 assists and Stephanie Sack accounted for 2 of them.
NorCal Playoffs Round IV Game Report
Posted: Jul 21, 2014