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Women's Basketball: Tough start too much to overcome, Bear Cubs fall to Modesto

#13 Britta Irvine dribbling

SRJC 54, Modesto Junior College 62

             Tuesday the Bear Cubs (9-13, 5-7) traveled to Modesto to play the Pirates of Modesto Junior College (9-13, 2-10). The Pirates scored four points on a field goal and two free throws in the first 70 seconds of play. Jenny Eggers' inside shot on the Bear Cubs next possession started a 7-0 run that included a free throw and field goal by Destiny Grayer and a low post basket by Angel Bernardi with 6:28 on the clock. Over a minute later the Pirates tied the score at 7-7 and proceeded to score 11 more unanswered points during the remainder of the period, as the Bear Cubs missed all 11 of their shot attempts to end the quarter in a 7-18 hole.

            Jenny Eggers and Kylie Oden sank the Bear Cubs' first two field goal attempts to start the second quarter, and Oden's 3-point play with 7:18 on the clock cut their deficit to 14-19. The Pirates responded with their own 3-point play just 14 seconds later. Jenny Eggers' dive to the basket and assist from Britta Irvine and her putback the next time down made the score 18-24 at the 4:40 mark. The Pirates added two field goals during the next three minutes. Kylie Oden finally got a 3-pointer to fall through the basket with 1:18 left and followed it up with a deeper one with 49 seconds remaining to close the gap to 24-28 by the end of the period.

            The Bear Cubs scored the first seven points of the third quarter on two free throws each by Kylie Oden and Angel Bernardi and a 3-pointer by Destiny Grayer to go ahead 31-28 after two and a half minutes. The Pirates quickly hit a pull-up jumper. Angel Bernardi drew another shooting foul and made both free throws, and then the Pirates dropped in a 6-footer. Destiny Grayer sank a field goal and 37 seconds later passed to a cutting Angel Bernardi, who made the layup for a 37-32 lead, prompting a Modesto timeout with 5:08 on the clock. When play resumed, the Pirates reclaimed the lead with a 12-1 run, that included two 3-pointers, to surge to a 44-38 advantage by the end of the quarter.

            The Bear Cubs tallied the first five points of the fourth quarter on Destiny Grayer's 3-pointer and Jenny Eggers' two free throws to get within a point after 93 seconds. The Pirates answered with a 3-pointer and a 3-point play before Grayer's scoring drive got the Bear Cubs to 45-50 with 6:12 on the clock. Grayer added two free throws 27 seconds later. The Pirates added a 3-pointer and a field goal before Madeline Strom drew a shooting foul and made both free throws for a 49-57 score with 3:02 left. Kylie Oden's 3-pointer with 2:18 remaining made it 52-57. No one scored again until the Pirates' 5'8" point guard and leading scorer, Povai Fesili, confidently swished her third 3-pointer of the quarter with 21 seconds remaining to increase their lead to 60-52. The Bear Cubs called a timeout and advanced the ball to their front court sideline. Kylie Oden caught the inbounds pass and was fouled on a drive. She made both free throws with 16 seconds to go. The Pirates inbounded and the Bear Cubs fouled. Dezmine Washington made both free throws with 12 seconds to play. The Bear Cubs called another timeout but were unable to score. After their own timeout, the Pirates dribbled out the clock to claim the 62-54 victory.

            The Pirates outscored the visitors in every quarter except the second, when the Bear Cubs made 7 out of 15 shots (47%) for a 17-10 margin. Overall, however, the Bear Cubs made just 16 out of 55 shots (29%), while the home team made 24 out of 60 shots (40%), including six 3-pointers. The Bear Cubs' fruitless offensive efforts during the last six minutes of the first quarter proved to be what hurt them the most, as they fell behind by 11 points. In the fourth quarter the Pirates corralled four offensive rebounds, resulting in 5 second-chance points and keeping the ball out of their opponent's hand in the final minute.

            Only five Bear Cubs scored with Kylie Oden and Destiny Grayer leading the way with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Jenny Eggers made four field goals and two free throws for 10 points. Angel Bernardi score 8 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Madeline Strom made her two free throws. Britta Irvine didn't score but grabbed 7 rebounds and passed for 4 assists. Grayer had 3 steals and 3 assists.