SRJC 80, Chabot College 71
The Bear Cubs' opponent in the opening round of the Merced College North-South Tournament was the Chabot College Gladiators, the team they had defeated by 27 points on November 1. This time the Gladiators hit shots and even held a 12-point lead in the third quarter.
Lucca Lowenberg took the Bear Cubs' first shot of this contest and swished the 3-pointer. Ariel Hines scored a field goal on the Gladiators' first possession. Ciarah Michalik's 3-point play on a putback and Reese Searcy's 3-pointer increase the Bear Cubs' lead to 9-2 with 5:50 on the clock. After a basket by Hines, Lowenberg hit a 12-footer. Rose Nevin was successful on low post moves on two consecutive trips down, and Searcy sank a layup for a 17-10 margin with 3:05 left. During the remainder of the period Sheriene Arikat scored on a drive and then banked in an 8-footer on a baseline inbounds play, while the Gladiators added a field goal and three out of four free throws, making the Bear Cubs' lead 21-15.
The Gladiators scored two field goals to start the second quarter before Reese Searcy made one free throw with 6:10 on the clock. Rose Nevin's putback and Searcy's drive at the 4:22 mark made the Bear Cubs' lead 26-21. Dede Franklin scored five points in a row for the Gladiators before Lucca Lowenberg was successful on a drive with 1:46 left. Kendra Grant made two free throws and a 3-pointer to put the Gladiators in front 31-28 with 41 seconds remaining. Ciarah Michalik drained a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left. Lowenberg intercepted a pass and eventually banked in a shot from beyond the arc before the buzzer sounded, sending the Bear Cubs into halftime with a 34-31 lead.
Dede Franklin's 3-pointer tied the score 58 seconds into the third quarter. Ashleigh Barr hit two 3-footers in a row and dropped in a 14-footer with 6:40 on the clock. Meanwhile the Gladiators added two field goals and a 3-pointer for a 41-40 lead. Lucca Lowenberg sank two free throws, then Ciarah Michalik and Alex Ditizio each swished a 3-pointer. For their part, the Gladiators tallied 19 points, including four 3-pointers, to jump out to a 60-48 lead with 2:37 remaining. The Bear Cubs finished the quarter with an Ashleigh Barr 3-footer and a 3-point play by Lowenberg to end the period behind 53-60.
The Bear Cubs started the fourth quarter with a 14-0 run, including three field goals by Ashleigh Barr, Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer and field goal, and Ciarah Michalik's steal and layup, to retake the lead 67-60 at the 6:06 mark. The Gladiators broke their scoreless streak 21 seconds later. Barr caught an assist from Meredith Gilbertson on a cut and banked in the layup 15 seconds after that. The Gladiators made one free throw, and Michalik made one. Reese Searcy stole a pass and drove the ball down to score the layup for a 72-63 margin. After one free throw by Michalik, Rose Nevin scored on a 2-footer when she cut down the key and caught the assist from Sheriene Arikat with 3:00 left for a 75-65 lead. Lanie Lincoln scored the Bear Cubs' final two points on a pair of free throws with 2:39 remaining. The Gladiators could only add two free throws and a field goal with 38 seconds to go, making the final score 80-71.
This game featured scoreless runs by both teams. The Bear Cubs were able to come back from a 12-point deficit late in the third quarter, and put together a run of baskets and defensive stands in the fourth quarter to come away with the win. When the Bear Cubs faced the Gladiators on November 1, only Kelly Tumlin scored in double figures. This time four players scored 10 points or more—Dede Franklin 21, Ariel Hines 17, Kendra Grant 12, and Kelly Tumlin 10.
Lucca Lowenberg led the Bear Cubs in scoring with 23 points, including 4 3-pointers. Ashleigh Barr missed all 11 of her pressured shots in the first half, but made 8 out of 9 in the second half to total 17 points to go along with her 14 rebounds. Ciarah Michalik made two 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. Reese Searcy was the fourth Bear Cub in double figures with 10 points. Rose Nevin made tough shots in the low post for 8 points. Sheriene Arikat added 4 points, Alex Ditizio 3, and Lanie Lincoln 2. Michalik passed for 5 assists and Meredith Gilbertson 4.