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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Women's Basketball: Strong defense gives Bear Cubs the win

#23 Zaina Depina playing defense

SRJC 54, Modesto 47

             On Coaches vs. Cancer Night at Haehl Pavilion the Bear Cubs (8-16, 3-7) were hoping to avenge a 66-67 loss in Modesto to the Pirates (6-13, 1-9) on January 13. The Bear Cubs turned the ball over on their first four possessions then fixed that problem but couldn't get their shots to fall. The Pirates scored the first two points of the game on a field goal with 6:57 on the clock. La Donna Saint Louis finally sank the Bear Cubs' eighth shot attempt over a minute later. The Pirates countered with a 3-pointer. Then Zaina Depina scored on a drive to make the score 4-5 with 5:10 left. The Pirates tallied seven unanswered points before Angel Bernardi drove for two with 37 seconds remaining. The Pirates hit a field goal with 10 seconds to go to take a 14-6 lead at the end of the quarter.

            Angel Bernardi got the scoring going in the second quarter with a 3-pointer nearly two minutes in. Sadie Irvine's basket with 4:31 on the clock made the score 11-14. Zaina Depina's fast break driving layup at the 3:08 mark got them within a point. The Pirates scored their only field goal of the quarter with 2:08 left to increase their margin to 16-13. Sixteen seconds later Angel Bernardi dropped in a 3-pointer from the left baseline to tie the game. The Pirates added one free throw with 10 seconds remaining. Angel Bernardi hit a field goal five seconds later to give the Bear Cubs an 18-17 lead at the half.

            Post player Dayna Hansen hit a 6-footer on the Pirates' opening possession then scored three more points to put her team back in front 22-18 after a little over two minutes of play. After missing their first four shots, the Bear Cubs made four in a row in less than two minutes to re-take the lead 26-22. The Pirates made three of four free throws to get within a point. Tiffany Salinas made one free throw then Sadie Irvine swished a fade away jumper to stretch the lead to four. The Pirates added two more field goals and the Bear Cubs an Angel Bernardi free throw to make the score 30-29 with a minute left. With four seconds to go the Bear Cubs inbounded under their own basket. Destiny Grayer passed to Madison Barsuglia, who cut to a spot beyond the arc. She caught the pass and drained the 3-pointer to help her team end the quarter on top 33-29.

            Ninety seconds into the fourth quarter, Angel Bernardi drove along the baseline around a defender and banked in the layup. Tiffany Salinas scored the next time down on a shot from just inside the free throw line for a 37-29 lead. The Pirates sank two free throws and a field goal, and La Donna Saint Louis made one free throw in the next 1:40. After Saint Louis hit a short shot to push the Bear Cubs to 40, the Pirates added two more free throws and a field goal to get to 37. Zaina Depina stopped their streak with a 3-pointer, and then Hansen drew a foul and made both free throws to move her team to 38-43 with 3:30 left. Sadie Irvine hit a pull-up jumper 20 seconds later. The Pirates swished a 3-pointer with 2:04 remaining to close the gap to 42-45. Back-to-back baskets by Tiffany Salinas and La Donna Saint Louis lengthened the lead to 49-43 with a minute to play. In the next 50 seconds the Pirates made two out of six free throws and the Bear Cubs three out of six. The Pirates sank one last field goal with 10 seconds left and La Donna Saint Louis a layup with five seconds to go to make the final score 54-47.

            The Bear Cubs got off to a cold start, as they only made 3 out of 16 shots (19%) in the first quarter. They continued to watch their shots go in and out in the second quarter, as only 5 out of 19 (26%) fell through the hoop. In the second half the Bear Cubs were able to string together scoring runs and made 44% of their shots (14 out of 32).

            Angel Bernardi played a solid game, making 5 out of 7 shots including two 3-pointers, on her way to scoring a season-high 13 points. La Donna Saint Louis overcame a 1 for 6 first half to finish with 13 points on 6 out of 12 shots and one free throw. Zaina Depina contributed 9 points, Sadie Irvine and Tiffany Salinas 8 each, and Madison Barsuglia 3. Tiffany Salinas was the top rebounder with 13. Sadie Irvine led in assists with 4.

Bear Cubs final home game is Friday against San Joaquin Delta at 5:30pm