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Women's Basketball: Tough defense not enough as Bear Cubs fall to Sierra

Women's Basketball: Tough defense not enough as Bear Cubs fall to Sierra

The Bear Cubs (7-9, 1-1) hit the road again to venture to Rocklin to square off against the always tough Sierra College Wolverines (11-6, 0-2). The Wolverines entered the game ranked #6 in the North after losing two games last week to the only undefeated Big 8 teams, #2 Diablo Valley College and #5 San Joaquin Delta College. The Bear Cubs won the tip but Jenna Dunbar's 3-pointer bounced off the rim. Sarah Arteseros corralled the rebound and Jenna put up a 2-pointer that fell through the net. The Wolverines broke the press and found an open player near their basket for an uncontested layup. It took over two minutes before the Wolverines scored again, hitting a shot from beyond the arc. The Bear Cubs' scoring drought lasted nearly 7 minutes and 10 missed shots until Jenna Dunbar finally hit a 12-footer at the 12:40 mark, making the score 4-5. Alicia Mehtlan's basket 72 seconds later put them ahead 6-5. The score was tight the rest of the half with the Bear Cubs holding a 25-22 edge going into halftime.

            The Wolverines started with the ball and quickly scored a field goal. Alicia Mehtlan made 4 out of 4 free throws during the first two minutes of the half to stretch the Bear Cubs' lead to 29-24. But the Wolverines went on an 11-0 run before Vai Thompson finally put in a short shot with 14:35 on the clock, making the score 31-35. When Brooke Santander converted a 3-point play at the 9:41 mark, it put the Bear Cubs in front 39-38. A field goal by Anne Studdert and one by Taylor Graham upped the lead to 43-41 with 5:18 remaining. The Wolverines swished a 3-pointer to leapfrog in front at the 3:55 mark. Vai Thompson's putback moved the Bear Cubs back in front 45-44. With 2:13 left the Wolverines swished another 3-pointer. The Bear Cubs turned the ball over twice and missed all of their final shots while the Wolverines made 7 out of 8 free throws as they stretched their lead to 54-45 by the time the game-ending buzzer sounded.

            Poor shooting (17 out of 61 for 28%) and 27 turnovers proved costly for the Bear Cubs. Except for a few mental lapses, their defense was great, holding the Wolverines, who had been averaging 75.5 points per game, to 54 points and only 15 out of 69 (22%) from the field. The Bear Cubs made 10 out of 14 free throws, but the Wolverines went to the charity stripe a lot more, making 19 out of 26.

            Brooke Santander was the top scorer with 9 points. Vai Thompson, Alicia Mehtlan, and Jenna Dunbar each added 8 points, Taylor Graham 5, Annie Studdert 4, and Amber Hart made the Bear Cubs' only 3-pointer. Taylor Graham was the top rebounder with 8. Niambi Saint Louis, Alicia Mehtlan, and Vai Thompson each grabbed 7.