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Women's Basketball falls to Merritt, plays in for 3rd place Saturday

#34 Jenny Eggers with the shot

SRJC 81, Merritt College 83

             In the second round of their own Caren Franci Invitational Tournament, the Bear Cubs (3-3) faced the same team they defeated in the second round of the Merced College Tournament a month ago, the Thunderbirds of Merritt College (2-3). It took nearly two and a half minutes for either team to put any points on the scoreboard. Angel Bernardi scored first by draining a 3-pointer. The Thunderbirds quickly matched it with their own 3-pointer, and a minute later added two free throws. Angel Bernardi's driving basket tied the score nine seconds after that. After a T-Bird basket, Kylie Oden sank a 3-pointer. The T-Birds scored a field goal, then Jenny Eggers' single free throw tied the score at 9 with 3:48 on the clock. Following a T-Bird field goal, Angel Bernardi's 3-point play on a left side drive put the Bear Cubs ahead 12-11. The T-Birds added a field goal and a free throw while Destiny Grayer and Mireya Lopez each sank two free throws in the next three plus minutes. Mireya Lopez swished a long 3-pointer a second before the buzzer to give the Bear Cubs a 19-14 lead at the end of the quarter.

            The T-Birds started the second quarter with the ball and connected on a field goal. Kylie Oden drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. A T-Bird 3-pointer at the 7:01 mark cut their deficit to 23-27. The Bear Cubs scored eight unanswered points on a 3-pointer each by Destiny Grayer and Kylie Oden and two free throws by Angel Bernardi. Two baskets by Mireya Lopez countered the T-Birds' single field goal and two free throws to make the lead 39-27 with 2:02 on the clock. Kylie Oden dropped in an 8-footer, the T-Birds made a field goal with 56 seconds left, then Oden swished a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend the lead to 44-29 at the half.

            Ninety-two seconds into the third quarter, the T-Birds hit a 3-pointer. Angel Bernardi made the Bear Cubs' first basket of the period with 7:09 on the clock. Their next two times down, Jenny Eggers got open for a layup then sank a 10-footer. Her successful post move at the 4:48 mark increased the lead to 52-35. Then the Bear Cubs made several turnovers against their opponents' full court pressure, missed their shots, and fouled shooters, which allowed the T-Birds to outscore them 13-6 during the remainder of the period and reduce the Bear Cubs' lead to 58-48 by the end of the period.

            The T-Birds scored the first four points of the fourth quarter on four free throw attempts. Angel Bernardi drew a shooting foul and made her two. Jenny Eggers sank the Bear Cubs' first field goal of the period at the 8:10 mark. The T-Birds' Nyela Cade converted a 3-point play, and Mireya Lopez made the Bear Cubs' second basket. Destiny Grayer's 8-footer with 5:30 on the clock put the lead at 68-60. Like they did in the third period, the Bear Cubs started turning the ball over, missing shots, and fouling, allowing the T-Birds to take the lead 72-70 with 2:29 left. Twenty seconds later Jenny Eggers tied the score with a short shot. Cade swished a 3-pointer 23 seconds after that. Kylie Oden matched it with a 3 of her own. With 33.7 seconds left, an official called a foul on Britta Irvine, her fifth. Coach Campbell asked the official what her player should have done differently to not get penalized since she was standing unmoving with her arms straight over her head. He didn't really answer the question, so coach Campbell turned to face the bench and tossed her clipboard sliding it along the floor toward her players while looking for a substitute for Irvine, the official assessed her with a technical foul. Cade made both free throws as did the player fouled, Jaina Harris. After a timeout and behind 75-79, the Bear Cubs inbounded in front of their bench, but Kylie Oden's 3-point attempt hit the rim and bounced off. The T-Birds' post player rebounded and was immediately fouled. She made both free throws with 25.5 seconds left. The Bear Cubs called their final timeout. Angel Bernardi was fouled as the ball was inbounded. She missed the first but made the second free throw. The T-Birds inbounded to Harris, who was fouled right away. She made the first free throw but not the second. Kylie Oden rebounded and pushed the ball up court. After a few passes, Jenny Eggers tried to get off a 3-pointer but was fouled. With 7.3 seconds remaining, she made all three free throws to close the gap to 79-82. The T-Birds inbounded to Harris, who was fouled by Oden. She made a comment to about the unnecessary aggressiveness of the foul. The official heard her and gave her a technical foul. Oden went to the free throw line and made both to get to 81-82. Harris missed the first free throw but made the second with 5.7 seconds on the clock. The Merritt coach called his last timeout. The Bear Cubs hurried the ball up court against pressure and Oden stopped three feet outside the 3-point line to put up a shot. The ball bounced off the rim and the T-Birds grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded on their 83-81 come-from-behind victory.

            The Bear Cubs turned the ball over 24 times, while the T-Birds only committed 9 turnovers. The T-Birds made 32 out of 39 free throws (82%), and the Bear Cubs were successful on 28 out of 36 (78%). Both teams made 7 3-pointers each.

            Nyela Cade led all scorers with 24 points, including 14 out of 14 from the free throw line. Jaina Harris finished with 20 points.

            Kylie Oden led the Bear Cubs with 20 points. Jenny Eggers, who sat several minutes due to foul trouble, still finished with 18 points. Angel Bernardi and Destiny Grayer registered season highs with 17 and 14 points, respectively. Mireya Lopez came off the bench to score 11 points. Gaby Roldan made one free throw to complete the scoring. Oden's 12 rebounds marked her third double-double of the season. Jenny Eggers pulled down 9 missed shots, 7 of them offensive. Angel Bernardi and Destiny Grayer each passed for 4 assists.