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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Bear Cubs hold down strong Folsom Falcons 67-45

Ciarah Michalik playing defense

SRJC 67, Folsom Lake College 45

            The Bear Cubs (18-2, 7-1) hosted the Falcons (15-4, 5-2) of Folsom Lake College in the first game of the second round of Big 8 play. Ciarah Michalik scored the first basket of the contest on a back cut and assist from Meredith Gilbertson. Falcon center Megan Williams sank a shot from the high post to tie the score. Ashleigh Barr passed to a cutting Lucca Lowenberg, who banked in the layup. The Falcons scored eight unanswered points to jump out to a 10-4 lead. Michalik drew a shooting foul with 54 seconds left and made both free throws. The Bear Cubs had missed 11 shots in a row before Barr banked in a 3-footer off a baseline inbounds pass from Lanie Lincoln with 12 seconds remaining to cut their deficit to 8-10 by the end of the quarter.

            The Falcons inbounded the ball to start the second quarter, and Alysa Lopez drained a 3-pointer with the shot clock down to 5. The Bear Cubs turned the ball over, and Lopez scored a field goal. The Bear Cubs made four shots in a row—Lucca Lowenberg's 10-footer, and Lanie Lincoln's 12-footer and two 3-pointers—while the Falcons made one field goal. After the Bear Cubs missed a 3-point attempt, Alex Ditizio swished a 3-pointer and converted a 3-point play on a layup and free throw, and Lincoln sank another 3-pointer for a 27-22 advantage with 5:40 on the clock. The Bear Cubs missed their final four shot attempts but added three points on two free throws by Sheriene Arikat and one by Ciarah Michalik. Folsom tallied five more points on a field goal by Corrie Harrison and a 3-pointer by Emily Ko, cutting the Bear Cubs' lead to 30-27 by the end of the half.

            The Bear Cubs started the third quarter with an 8-0 run on three baskets in a row by Ashleigh Barr and a drive by Ciarah Michalik. The Falcons responded with their own 8-0 run on two 3-pointers and a field goal. Sheriene Arikat's 8-footer and Ashleigh Barr's 3-point play that began with Alex Ditizio saving a pass from going out of bounds and flipping the ball to her, was followed by Ko's second 3-pointer of the period. Arikat's two free throws and Lucca Lowenberg's 14-footer with 17 seconds left made the lead 47-38. Ten seconds later Williams sank a field goal. With time running out, Michalik drove to the basket and was fouled just before the buzzer sounded. She missed the first free throw but made the second to stretch the margin to 48-40.

            Alysa Lopez made the first basket of the fourth quarter. The Bear Cubs scored the next 12 points on Sheriene Arikat's 6-footer, her cut and assist from Alex Ditizio, Lucca Lowenberg's 2-footer off of Arikat's assist, Ditizio's steal and layup, Ashleigh Barr's 12-footer off the baseline inbounds pass from Ciarah Michalik, and Ditizio's putback. Reya Lee's 3-pointer with 3:31 on the clock turned out to be the Falcons' last points. The Bear Cubs made their final three shots—Meredith Gilbertson's 3-pointer, Ditizio's layup on a give-and-go play with Barr, and Michalik's drive—to end the game with a score of 67-45.

            The Bear Cubs again struggled to score in the first quarter, as they made only 3 out of 17 shots (18%). In the second quarter they were successful on 58% of their shots, but five turnovers limited their attempts to 12. They made 50% of their shots in both the third and fourth quarters, accounting for 33 points plus four free throws. But it was their defensive pressure that proved the difference by allowing the Falcons to only score 18 points in the second half. The Falcons came into the game averaging 12 offensive rebounds per game, but they were only able to pull down two against the Bear Cubs. Emily Ko, who sank four 3-pointers, led the Falcons with 16 points, and Alysa Lopez scored 11.

            Ashleigh Barr led the Bear Cubs with her tenth double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Lanie Lincoln scored all 11 of her points during a 3 minute and 14 second span in the second quarter. Ciarah Michalik, Sheriene Arikat, and Alex Ditizio each tallied 10 points. Lucca Lowenberg added 8 points and Meredith Gilbertson 3. Ciarah Michalik and Ashleigh Barr each passed for 5 assists.