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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Stronger second half helps Bear Cubs get the victory

Sheriene Arikat

SRJC 66, Diablo Valley College 42

            For their final 7:30 pm first round Big 8 contest, the Bear Cubs (17-2, 6-1) traveled to Pleasant Hill to face the Vikings (5-10, 2-4) of Diablo Valley College. Lanie Lincoln took the Bear Cubs' first shot of the game and swished the 3-pointer. It took over two minutes of play before Ciarah Michalik scored the next two points on pair of free throws. Alexis Lipary got the Vikings on the scoreboard with a field goal at the 6:20 mark. Fourteen seconds later Lucca Lowenberg sank her two free throws. The Vikings made three field goals to take an 8-7 lead with 3:32 on the clock. Ashleigh Barr's 5-footer off the assist from Lincoln ended the Bear Cubs' 0 for 10 string of shots. Junn Brooms sank a field goal, Alex Ditizio drained a 3-pointer, and then Brooms' third field goal of the game tied the score at 12-12 with 1:57 left. Barr scored four more points on a putback and a 12-footer off the assist from Ditizio to put the Bear Cubs ahead 16-12.

            Lucca Lowenberg sank a 6-foot pull-up jumper to start the scoring nearly a minute into the second quarter. Sixteen seconds later Isabela de la Cruz made a basket for the Vikings. Neither team scored again until Skyler Parker's close shot at the 6:05 mark. The Bear Cubs tallied the next six points on Ciarah Michalik's 6-footer, Sheriene Arikat's putback, and Lowenberg's 12-footer with 3:22 on the clock, for a 24-16 lead. Jacquelyne Aguayo scored inside 13 seconds later. Ashleigh Barr's two free throws with 1:14 left got the Bear Cubs' lead to 26-18. Junn Brooms finished the scoring in the quarter with two free throws and a 3-pointer to close the gap to 23-26 by halftime.

            The Bear Cubs missed their first four shots of the third quarter and then made seven out of their next nine—two by Ashleigh Barr, Lucca Lowenberg's 10-footer, Ciarah Michalik's layup, and Alex Ditizio's three baskets on a layup, a steal and a layup, and a 15-footer—to widen their lead to 40-28 with 3:38 on the clock. The Bear Cubs scored the last five points of the period on Sheriene Arikat's drive and one-handed 4-footer, Rose Nevin's low post move, and one free throw by Taylor Iacopi for a 45-28 advantage.

            Jacquelyne Aguayo scored the first field goal of the fourth quarter after 34 seconds of play. Lucca Lowenberg swished a 3-pointer, and then Lipary sank one from beyond the arc for the Vikings. Ashleigh Barr hit an 8-footer on a baseline inbounds pass from Ciarah Michalik. Nearly two minutes later Michalik completed a 3-point play on her layup and free throw. Isabela de la Cruz drew a shooting foul and made both free throws at the 6:15 mark. Barr banked in a 2-footer off the assist from Meredith Gilbertson, and then Skyler Parker made one free throw. Alex Ditizio drained a 3-pointer, Lipary drove along the baseline and tossed in the reverse layup with 3:59 on the clock. Rose Nevin made two close shots in a row and one out of two free throws with 2:45 left to get the lead to 63-38. During the remainder of the game de la Cruz made one free throw and Parker a field goal and one of two free throws to bring the Vikings' total to 42 points. Gilbertson scored the Bear Cubs' last three points on one of two free throws and a cut down the lane and assist from Taylor Iacopi, making the final score 66-42.

            The Bear Cubs couldn't seem to find their shooting touch in the first half, as they made only 9 out of 36 shots (25%), including 2 out of 16 (12.5%) from beyond the arc. In the second half, as their defense tightened up the pressure, their offense passed the ball more effectively and made more shots inside the paint. The Bear Cubs made 17 out of 42 shots (40%) in the second half. Two Vikings scored in double figures: Junn Brooms with 11 points and Isabela de la Cruz 10.

            Ashleigh Barr led the Bear Cubs with her ninth double-double comprised of 16 points and 13 rebounds. Alex Ditizio sank two 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 12 points. Lucca Lowenberg only made one 3-pointer but still totaled 11 points. Ciarah Michalik added 9 points, Rose Nevin 7, Sheriene Arikat 4, Lanie Lincoln and Meredith Gilbertson 3 each, and Taylor Iacopi 1. For the first time this season all nine Bear Cubs scored, grabbed at least one offensive rebound, and at least one defensive rebound. Seven players made assists, with Ciarah Michalik passing for 6 of them and Sheriene Arikat 4. Arikat was second in rebounding with 10.