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Santa Rosa Junior College Athletics

Bear Cubs take over 1st Place in the Big 8 - Beat Delta 54-45

#1 Ciarah Michalik shooting a jump shot

SRJC 54, San Joaquin Delta College 45


            The Bear Cubs (20-2, 9-1) traveled to Stockton hoping to avenge their only Big 8 loss at the hands of the Mustangs (15-5, 8-1) of San Joaquin Delta College. The Bear Cubs scored first when Ciarah Michalik pulled down a defensive rebound and drove the length of the court past defenders to bank in the left-handed layup. Michalik's putback and Lanie Lincoln's drive and one-handed release from five feet out gave the Bear Cubs a 6-0 lead after three minutes of play. Charity Davis' 3-point play got the Mustangs on the scoreboard at the 5:17 mark. The Bear Cubs widened their lead to 12-3 on one free throw by Rose Nevin, Lincoln's 3-pointer, and Alex Ditizio's cut to the hoop and assist from Sheriene Arikat. Selai Niu made one free throw with 11 seconds left to put the Bear Cubs' lead at 12-4 by the end of the period.

            Ashleigh Barr took the first shot of the second quarter and sank the 2-footer off the assist from Lanie Lincoln. The Mustangs scored three points in a row on a basket by Andraya Perez and one free throw by Mary Cotton. Ashleigh Barr banked in a 2-footer and Lucca Lowenberg a 10-footer before Kamania Griffen sank a field goal. Meredith Gilbertson made one free throw, and then Cotton made two with 5:15 on the clock. Two more free throws by Cotton and a basket by Perez cut their deficit to 15-19 with 2:43 left. The Bear Cubs finished the quarter with an 11-0 run comprised of Sheriene Arikat's 15-footer, her 2-footer off of Alex Ditizio's assist, Ciarah Michalik's steal and layup, Lincoln's 3-pointer, and Michalik's putback to end the half with a 30-15 advantage.

            The Mustangs scored the first five points on a layup by Jene Wells and a 3-pointer by Cotton before Ashleigh Barr swished her own shot from beyond the arc. The Mustangs tallied the next six points on a basket and two free throws by Cotton and a field goal by Perez to get to 26-33 at the 5:30 mark. Ashleigh Barr sank a 12-footer on a baseline inbounds pass from Ciarah Michalik. The Mustangs scored five more points in the quarter on Griffin's 3-pointer and field goal with 3:55 left. The Bear Cubs finished the period with an 8-0 run on Lanie Lincoln's 3-pointer, Sheriene Arikat's putback and Michalik's 3-point play on a driving layup to end the quarter in front 43-31.

            Ciarah Michalik scored the first basket of the fourth quarter on a drive 74 seconds in. About a minute later Andraya Perez drained a 3-pointer. Ashleigh Barr's basket off of Lanie Lincoln's assist was followed by Keyara McCoy's 3-point play. Alex Ditizio made one free throw, and Selai Niu sank a field goal. Lucca Lowenberg swished a 3-pointer with 5:27 on the clock to put the lead at 51-39. Charity Davis' 3-pointer dropped through the net with 3:55 left. About a minute later Lanie Lincoln made the Bear Cubs' final three points on a shot from beyond the arc for a 54-42 advantage. The Mustangs were only able to add three more points on three out of four free throws by Mary Cotton. The Bear Cubs missed a shot with 10 seconds remaining, but Michalik grabbed the offensive rebound and the visitors were able to dribble out the clock on their important 54-45 win.

            The Bear Cubs did not shoot well, as they made only 22 out of 60 shots (37%), including 6 out of 24 (25%) from 3-point land. However, their defensive pressure, particularly in the first half, made it difficult for the Mustang shooters to score. The home team was only successful on 4 out of 24 shots (17%) in the first half, and 14 out of 55 (25.5%) for the game. The Bear Cubs' 11-0 run during the last 2:43 of the second quarter turned out to be crucial to their victory. For the Mustangs, only Mary Cotton scored in double figures with 15 points, 10 of them from the free throw line.

            Lanie Lincoln, who missed the December 30th loss to the Mustangs due to Covid, led the Bear Cubs with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Ciarah Michalik scored 13 points and pulled down 5 offensive rebounds. Ashleigh Barr completed her 12th double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Sheriene Arikat added 6 points, Lucca Lowenberg 5, Alex Ditizio 3, Rose Nevin 1, and Meredith Gilbertson 1. Meredith Gilbertson was second in rebounding with 9. Sheriene Arikat led in assists with 4. Ashleigh Barr blocked 4 shots.