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Women's Basketball: Bear Cubs beat San Francisco 56-55 to advance to the Championship Game

Women's Basketball: Bear Cubs beat San Francisco 56-55 to advance to the Championship Game

            The Bear Cubs came from behind to post their biggest victory of the season by the smallest of margins. In their second round game of the City College of San Francisco Tournament the Bear Cubs (5-5) were matched against the host Rams (7-3), who finished in second place in the SRJC Tournament the previous weekend. The Bear Cubs scored first when Brittney Rachuy was fouled on a missed shot and made both free throws. The Rams scored the next eight points before Niambi Saint Louis finally sank the Bear Cubs' first field goal with 16:32 on the clock. The Rams maintained the lead until Alicia Mehtlan's field goal with 1:28 remaining tied the score at 31. The Rams had the ball for the final shot of the half and converted on a drive with three seconds to take a 33-31 lead into halftime.

            The Rams scored the first field goal of the second half. Amber Hart's only basket of the game put the Bear Cubs ahead 38-37 at the 16:34 mark. A Brooke Santander field goal and two free throws by Vai Thompson increased their lead to 42-37 with 14 minutes to play. The Bear Cubs missed their next 13 shots before Niambi Saint Louis scored on a putback at the 7:37 mark to make the score 44-42. Three field goals by Jenna Dunbar and one by Alicia Mehtlan boosted their lead to 52-44 with three minutes remaining. The Rams then sank a 3-pointer and converted a 3-point play to cut their deficit to 50-52. Vai Thompson hit a short turnaround shot in the middle of the key with 1:22 on the clock for a 54-50 lead. The Rams hit a 3-pointer 22 seconds later then retook the lead 55-54 with 27 seconds in the game. The Bear Cubs called a timeout with the ball in the front court with 20 seconds on the clock. When play resumed the Bear Cubs were going to try to run the clock down and work for the final shot. Alicia Mehtlan drove, but got stuck under the basket. She tossed up a high shot over her shoulder that looked like it was going to be an airball, but amazingly it dropped through the basket. The Rams called a timeout with 15 seconds left. After inbounding the ball and bringing it up court, the Bear Cubs' defensive pressure forced them to throw a crosscourt pass that sailed out of bounds. The Rams had only committed five team fouls, so they had to foul twice before Alicia Mehtlan went to the line to shoot 1+1 with 5 seconds to go. Following San Francisco's final timeout, Alicia missed the free throw and the Rams rebounded. The Bear Cubs, who had only been whistled for three team fouls, fouled to stop the clock with one second. The Rams inbounded, but were unable to get a shot off. The win advances the Bear Cubs into the Championship game for the first time in four tournaments.

            Jenna Dunbar had her second double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Alicia Mehtlan recorded her first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Vai Thompson came off the bench to play her best game of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Niambi Saint Louis added 6 points, Brooke Santander 5, and Brittney Rachuy and Amber Hart 2 each. Taylor Graham again led in assists with 4 and Jenna Dunbar in steals with 4.