SRJC 56, San Joaquin Delta College 55
The Bear Cubs (10-6, 2-2) hosted the top-ranked team in the State, the Mustangs (19-0, 5-0) of San Joaquin Delta College three nights after losing to #3 Sierra College. Alicia Jones scored the first field goal of the game for the Mustangs. The Bear Cubs tied the score when Ciarah Michalik lobbed the assist pass to Ashleigh Barr fading to the basket. Jones scored inside about a minute later. Lizeth Zavala's left handed step-around move tied the score. Ciarah Michalik's single free throw with 6:06 on the clock put the Bear Cubs ahead. Donja Payne's two free throws got the Mustangs in front. Ashleigh Barr sank a 10-footer on an assist from Trinity Hawkins. Ninety seconds after that, Lizeth Zavala broke the press and drove in for the successful layup to give the Bear Cubs a 9-8 lead. The Mustangs outscored their hosts 8-2 during the remainder of the period, giving them a 16-11 lead, as the Bear Cubs only added two free throws by Hannah Webb.
After the Mustangs' Maya Chelini scored the first basket of the second quarter, the Bear Cubs made four out of their next five shots—all by Ashleigh Barr—to close the gap to 19-20 with 6:39 on the clock. The Mustangs responded with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws before Rose Nevin banked in a 2-footer under pressure. Chelini drained a 3-pointer with 2:43 left. Lizbeth Zavala made one free throw to end the half with the Mustangs ahead 28-22.
During the first two minutes of the third quarter, Donja Payne scored inside, Lizeth Zavala sank a 3-pointer, Maya Chelini made a field goal, and Trinity Hawkins made both free throws after being fouled on a putback attempt. Jones' basket at the 7:35 mark increased her team's lead to 34-27. With 6:52 on the clock, the S.J. Delta coach was whistled for a Technical Foul when she took a couple of steps out onto the court to complain that her shooter was fouled but no call was made. Trinity Hawkins went to the free throw line and made both. Jones scored a field goal over a minute after that. Tal Webb made a steal at the top of the Mustangs' free throw circle and drove the ball down to bank in the uncontested layup. After Jones came up with a steal and easy layup, Trinity Hawkins drained a 3-pointer. Payne was fouled on a shot and made one free throw. Ciarah Michalik intercepted a pass 35 feet from the Mustangs' basket, drove the ball towards her end, pulled up just beyond the 3-point line, and sank the shot with 1:03 left. Neither team scored again in the period, which ended with the Mustangs holding a 39-37 lead.
Ashleigh Barr's 8-footer tied the score. Ciarah Michalik hit a pull-up jumper from just below the free throw line nearly a minute later. The Mustangs retook the lead 42-41 at the 6:22 mark. Trinity Hawkins made a backdoor cut and caught the assist from Tal Webb about two minutes after that. Maya Chelini sank two free throws on their next possession. Trinity Hawkins got open next to the hoop and cashed in Ashleigh Barr's assist. The Mustangs countered with a 3-pointer. Sixty-five seconds later Trinity Hawkins drew a shooting foul on a putback attempt and made both free throws tie the score at 47. After Alicia Jones hit a 10-footer, Tal Webb was fouled dribbling past defenders and sank both free throws. Sarah Ruiz drained a long shot from beyond the men's 3-point line to give her team a 52-49 advantage. Ashleigh Barr cut towards the middle of the key, caught the pass from Trinity Hawkins, and sank the 8-footer. The Mustangs missed their next shot, Trinity Hawkins rebounded, passed to Ciarah Michalik, who was fouled when double-teamed in the backcourt. The Mustangs called a timeout. Ciarah Michalik went to the free throw line with 1:01 on the clock but missed both shots. Donja Payne scored inside with 34 seconds left for a 54-51 margin. The Bear Cubs called a timeout and advanced the ball. Their shot was off target, Payne rebounded and was fouled. She missed the first but not the second. The Bear Cubs called their final timeout and advanced the ball. Tal Webb was fouled as she was going after an offensive rebound and put in both free throws with 18 seconds remaining, making the deficit 53-55. The Mustangs called their last timeout and advanced the ball. Ciarah Michalik made a steal and was fouled with 14 seconds to go. She missed the first free throw but not the second. The Mustangs inbounded and the Bear Cubs fouled with 9 seconds left. The Mustangs' free throw shooter missed both attempts. Ashleigh Barr came down with the rebound, got the ball to Trinity Hawkins, who passed to Ciarah Michalik. Michalik was fouled in the front court with 2 seconds showing on the clock. This time she swished both free throws, giving the Bear Cubs a 56-55 lead. The Mustangs' desperation shot fell short, and the Bear Cubs celebrated their come-from-behind upset victory.
For the second game in a row, the Bear Cubs' defense was key. The Mustangs, who came into the game averaging over 76 points per game, made just 18 out of 51 shots (35%), 4 from 3-point range. The Mustangs' defense held the Bear Cubs to just 18 baskets, 3 from beyond the arc, on 65 attempts (28%). The Bear Cubs were more successful handling the Mustangs' full-court pressure this time, as they committed 18 turnovers compared to the 31 in Stockton. Alicia Jones led the Mustangs with 18 points. Maya Chelini (15) and Donja Payne (12) also scored in double figures.
Ashleigh Barr registered her second consecutive double-double and fifth overall with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Trinity Hawkins had her third double-double with 13 points, including 6 out of 6 from the free throw line, and 11 rebounds. Ciarah Michalik added 9 points, Lizeth Zavala 7, Tal Webb 6, Hannah Webb and Rose Nevin 2 each, and Lizbeth Zavala 1. Trinity Hawkins posted individual season highs in assists and steals with 6 each.