SRJC 65, Fresno City College 64
For their second round matchup in the Merced College North-South Shootout, the Bear Cubs (2-0) faced the Rams (1-0) of Fresno City College. Ciarah Michalik scored the first two points of the game on a hard drive around three defenders on the Bear Cubs' opening possession. Ashleigh Barr caught Michalik's assist next to the hoop a little over a minute later. Jasmine Heu got the Rams on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer within 13 seconds. Barr's 3-footer on Lucca Lowenberg's assist and Reese Searcy's 15-footer put the Bear Cubs ahead 8-3 after three minutes of play. After Kelsey Delgado made a field goal for the Rams, Meredith Gilbertson hit a 12-footer, Michalik scored on a drive, and Sheriene Arikat sank one free throw for a 13-5 lead at the 4:41 mark. During the remainder of the period, the Rams made two field goals and a 3-pointer, while Arikat hit a 10-footer, Alex Ditizio cut and caught Barr's assist, and Bar scored on a drive from the high post to put the Bear Cubs in front 19-12.
Lucca Lowenberg was successful on a drive to the basket on the Bear Cubs' first time on offense in the second quarter. Jayla Green made two free throws for the Rams, and then Daeja Holmes sank two field goals and a 3-pointer in less than a minute to tie the score at 21 with 7:56 on the clock. Reese Searcy scored six points in a row on a 3-pointer and a 3-point play when she drove in and was fouled. The Rams sank 3 out of 4 free throws, and Jasmine Heu a field goal at the 3:28 mark to close the gap to 26-27. Nine seconds later Sheriene Arikat registered a 3-point play when fouled on a drive. With four seconds remaining Ciarah Michalik drove in, snaked around defenders, and tossed in a left-handed layup to end the half with the Bear Cubs ahead 32-26.
Meredith Gilbertson attempted a 3-pointer near the start of the third quarter. Seeing it was off target, she hustled after the rebound, and scored the putback. Jasmine Heu answered with a basket 16 seconds later. Neither team scored until Jayla Green's post move with 7:50 on the clock. After that Reese Searcy swished a 3-pointer, which was followed by Green's 3-pointer. Ciarah Michalik drove in to score twice before Green made two field goals in a row. Gilbertson was fouled on a shot inside and made both free throws. The Rams added a field goal and one free throw. Sheriene Arikat's drive and left-handed layup with 55 seconds left put the Bear Cubs ahead 45-40. Twenty seconds later Green drained a 3-pointer. Arikat drew a shooting foul and sank both free throws with 20 seconds remaining. Green scored inside 15 seconds later to get her team within two points at 45-47 by the end of the quarter.
Ashleigh Barr, who sat out nearly the entire third period after picking up her third foul, started the fourth quarter and sank a 5-footer. The Rams scored four unanswered points to tie the game at 49. Reese Searcy drove in to score on a layup, and the Rams made one of two free throws. Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer got the Bear Cubs to 54 points. The Rams went on a 10-0 run to jump out in front 60-54 at the 2:57 mark. Barr put back a missed shot, and Lowenberg drained a 3-pointer at the 2:03 mark to close to 59-60. Jasmine Heu sank a shot from beyond the arc 29 seconds later. With 43 seconds left, Reese Searcy passed across to Lowenberg, who swished the 3-pointer, pulling the Bear Cubs within a point, 62-63. The Fresno coach called a timeout and advanced the ball to their front court sideline. The Rams ran the clock down before attempting a shot. The ball didn't go it, Rose Nevin corralled the rebound, and called a timeout with 13 seconds showing on the clock. The Bear Cubs advanced the ball and when play resumed, they ran a play that got Searcy open to receive the pass near the basket, but her shot was blocked and went out of bound off of her leg. The Rams called a timeout with 9 seconds left. They inbounded into their front court. The Bear Cubs committed two quick fouls in a row to stop the clock and get into the bonus free throw situation. Jasmine Heu went to the free throw line to shoot two. She made the first. Her second free throw bounced off the rim, Searcy pulled down the rebound and called a timeout with four seconds to go. The Bear Cubs ran a sideline inbounds play with Lanie Lincoln passing in to Ashleigh Barr at the low post. Barr couldn't get a shot opportunity, so she passed back out to Lincoln who stepped onto the court. Lincoln drained the deep 3-pointer to give the Bear Cubs a 65-64 edge. Since the clock stops after every basket in the final minute of a game, there was still half a second to play. The Rams called their last timeout and advanced the ball. They were unable to get a shot off in time, and the buzzer sounded with the Bear Cubs coming from behind to pull out the win after relinquishing the lead.
The Rams outscored the Bear Cubs in all but the first quarter. The Bear Cubs' 7-point lead after one period of play proved to be the difference. The Rams made 9 out of 16 free throws. The Bear Cubs only shot 10 free throws but made 7 of them. The Rams sank 7 3-pointers and the Bear Cubs 6. Jayla Green led all scorers with 24 points. Jasmine Heu added 15 points and Daeja Holmes 14.
Five Bear Cubs scored in double figures: Reese Searcy with 13, Lucca Lowenberg 11, Ciarah Michalik 10, Sheriene Arikat 10, and Ashleigh Barr 10. Meredith Gilbertson added 8 points, Lanie Lincoln 3, and Alex Ditizio 2. Barr pulled down 9 rebounds, while Rose Nevin and Meredith Gilbertson each grabbed 8. Michalik