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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Bear Cubs, behind Michalik's career high 22pts beat Butte 82-64

Ciarah Michalik shooting FT

SRJC 82, Butte College 64

            For their first round opponent in the City College of San Francisco Golden Gate Classic, the Bear Cubs (8-1) were matched against the #1 ranked team in the North and #2 in the State Roadrunners (13-1) of Butte College. The Bear Cubs made their first four shots in a row—three by Ashleigh Barr and Lucca Lowenberg's 3-pointer—to jump out to a 9-2 lead after less than three minutes of play. Then with 6:57 on the clock, Ashleigh Barr picked up her second foul and had to be taken out of the game. Sarah Tait made both free throws. About a minute later Lowenberg drew a shooting foul and made one free throw. Tait sank a field goal, and then Ciarah Michalik was fouled on a drive. She made both free throws at the 4:56 mark to put her team's lead at 12-6. Cassidy King added the next five points for the Roadrunners on a 3-pointer and a field goal. Meredith Gilbertson's 3-point play on a putback with 1:21 left made the score 15-11. Meghan Weinrich scored a field goal 15 seconds later. Alex Ditizio's one free throw with 25 seconds remaining gave the Bear Cubs a 16-13 lead by the end of the quarter.

            Tait took the first shot of the second quarter and made the 2-pointer. Lanie Lincoln attempted the Bear Cubs' first shot and swished the 3-pointer. The Roadrunners scored the next five points on Weinrich's 3-pointer and field goal. Alex Ditizio's putback at the 8:10 mark put the Bear Cubs back in front 21-20. Lanie Lincoln's 3-pointer extended the advantage to 24-20. Tait's 3-pointer and Jordan Arreola's field goal gave the Roadrunners a 25-24 lead. Ashleigh Barr sank two baskets in a row from inside, and on the other end of the court Tait swished a 3-pointer and Weinrich and Arreola a field goal each for a 32-28 Roadrunner lead with 4:18 on the clock. Sheriene Arikat hit a 4-footer and Ashleigh Barr a 12-footer to tie the score. Arreola made one more basket with 1:27 left. Meredith Gilbertson's putback 26 seconds later again tied the score. After one more missed shot by each team, the Bear Cubs had a chance for a baseline inbounds play with 1.1 second. Lanie Lincoln passed to a cutting Alex Ditizio, who banked in the 1-footer at the buzzer to put the Bear Cubs ahead 36-34 going into halftime.

            Tait again scored the first basket of the quarter. Meredith Gilbertson was fouled on a shot and made both free throws. The Roadrunners retook the lead on Tait's 3-pointer and one free throw by Arreola. Ciarah Michalik drained three shots in a row—a 3-pointer, a drive around a baseline defender, and another 3-pointer—to propel the Bear Cubs in front 46-41 at the 6:25 mark. Alex Ditizio's 3-pointer extended the lead. Two minutes later Rose Nevin cut to the basket, caught Sheriene Arikat's assist from the high post, and banked in the 1-footer. On the Roadrunners' next possession, Tait was fouled making a field goal and sank the and-one free throw. Arreola swished a 3-pointer to get to 47-51 with 2:54 left. Michalik scored on a drive, and a minute later Nevin cut along the baseline and caught Arikat's assist next to the hoop. Arreola sank the Roadrunners' last basket of the quarter with 1:06 left. Arikat hit a 10-footer along the right baseline to give the Bear Cubs a 57-49 margin by the end of the period.

            Ciarah Michalik's 3-pointer started the scoring in the fourth quarter. Weinrich tallied the Roadrunners' first points of the period on a field goal at the 8:47 mark. Neither team scored again until Ashleigh Barr hit a 5-footer off of Michalik's assist with 7:21 on the clock. Weinrich drew a shooting foul and made both free throws. Michalik drained another 3-pointer, and then Ashleigh Barr hit a 10-footer. Madalynn Bassett swished a shot from beyond the arc. Lucca Lowenberg sank a 10-footer as she was being fouled and made the and-one free throw with 6:09 left. The Roadrunners made three unanswered field goals to pull to 62-70 with 3:29 remaining. Lowenberg got half of that back with a 3-pointer 14 seconds later. Weinrich scored what turned out to be the Roadrunners' final points on a field goal with 3:02 to go. The Bear Cubs continued to add points on Lanie Lincoln's 3-pointer, 2 out of 2 free throws by Ashleigh Barr, and 4 out of 4 by Michalik, as they went on to win by a score of 82-64.

            The Bear Cubs played their best overall game of the season, and they had to in order to defeat the talented Roadrunners. The Bear Cubs' defense held their opponents to 13 points below their season average of 77 points per game. The Roadrunners had posted a 15-point win over the Rams of Fresno City College, who had beaten the Bear Cubs by 19 last Saturday. Both teams tonight had about the same shooting percentage (42%), but the Bear Cubs took 11 more shots and made 5 of them. Three Butte players scored in double figures—Sarah Tait with 23, Meghan Weinrich 17, and Jordan Arreola 12.

            Ciarah Michalik, who came into the game averaging 8.6 points per game, led the Bear Cubs in scoring with her season-high of 22 points. Ashleigh Barr only played 19 minutes due to foul trouble but still posted her fifth double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Lucca Lowenberg made two 3-pointers and totaled 10 points. Lanie Lincoln, starting in place of Reese Searcy, who was out sick, sank three 3-pointers for 9 points. Alex Ditizio and Meredith Gilbertson both played well defensively and offensively, scoring 8 and 7 points, respectively. Sheriene Arikat and Rose Nevin each scored 4 points. Ciarah Michalik was second in rebounding with 8 and led in assists with 5. Meredith Gilbertson made 4 steals.