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Women's Basketball: Bear Cubs get first win with hot shooting

#33 DJ Hayes dribbling
#33 DJ Hayes dribbling

SRJC 76, Porterville 35

             The Bear Cubs (0-1) faced the Pirates (0-3) of Porterville College in the second round of the Merced College Tournament. The Bear Cubs won the tip-off and 18 seconds later Britta Irvine drained a 3-pointer. The Bear Cubs missed their next shot attempt and on the following possession, Jasmine Henderson was fouled on a drive and made one of two free throws. Then they scored five points in a row on a field goal by Maiya Flores and Cammie Barsuglia's 3-pointer. Flores missed her next 3-point attempt then made three baskets in a row, the last two from beyond the arc for a 17-0 lead with 3:10 on the clock. The Pirates finally got on the scoreboard with a 10-footer 18 seconds later. When the Bear Cubs got the ball back, Henderson drove through traffic and was fouled. She made the first but not the second free throw. Shayla Newman scored the final basket of the quarter with 59 seconds left, giving the Bear Cubs a 20-2 lead.

            Lilly Orozco took and made the Bear Cubs' first field goal attempt of the second quarter. Then the Pirates drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. Lizeth Zavala swished a deep 3-pointer with 8:15 on the clock, but the Bear Cubs didn't score again until Maddie Strom converted a post move three minutes later. Strom added a single free throw and another field goal during the next two minutes for a 30-6 advantage. The Pirates sank a 3-pointer and Maiya Flores answered with her third 3-pointer of the contest. The Pirates hit another 3-pointer with 1:14 left. The Bear Cubs finished the half with Strom scoring on a post move and Orozco on a drive to stretch their lead to 37-12.

            The Pirates scored the first field goal of the third quarter on their first possession. Flores drew a shooting foul with 8:19 on the clock and made both free throws. Eighty-four seconds later she was back at the free throw line and again sank both. The Bear Cubs made 7 out of 11 shots during the next five-and-a-half minutes, including one 3-pointer each by Flores and Henderson, and three field goals in a row by Shayla Newman for a 57-18 advantage. The Pirates hit two more field goals, and Newman banked one in at the buzzer, making the score 59-22.

            Lilly Orozco scored the first two points of the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws, then was fouled the next time down and made one of two. Maddie Strom scored on a short fall-away shot on their next possession to get the lead to 64-25 at the 8:07 mark. The Pirates drained two 3-pointers before Henderson drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. The Pirates hit two field goals in the next three minutes, and Maiya Flores and Shayla Newman each made one to get the score to 72-35 with 2:15 left. The Bear Cubs completed the scoring with two free throws by Lizeth Zavala and a post move by Strom for a 76-35 victory.

            The Bear Cubs had a great opening quarter, making 7 out of 12 shots (58%), including 4 out of 8 from 3-point range, and holding their opponents to a single field goal. They ended up shooting 50% for the game (26 out of 52) and 47% (8 out of 17) from beyond the arc. The Bear Cubs' defense made it tough on the Porterville shooters, as they made only 13 out of 54 attempts (24%).

            Maiya Flores again led the Bear Cubs in scoring with 22 points, including 4 out of 8 3-pointers and 4 out of 4 free throws. Shayla Newman recorded the season's first double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Maddie Strom made 6 out of 9 shots and one out of two free throws for 13 points. Lilly Orozco finished with 9 points, Jasmine Henderson 7, Lizeth Zavala 5, and Cammie Barsuglia and Britta Irvine 3 each. Orozco and Henderson each pulled down 5 rebounds. Flores and Irvine each passed for 4 assists.