SBCC Women's Basketball Edges Cuesta 2013
College: Santa Barbara City College
Subject: Physical Education
Things weren't looking good for SBCC when Alyssa Palma sank a 13-foot jumper to give Cuesta a 63-50 advantage with nine minutes to play in a WSC North game at the Sports Pavilion.
Santa Barbara, playing its first home game in two months on Saturday night, outscored the visitors 22-7 the rest of the way to post a 72-70 victory that left them alone atop the conference race.
Jasmine Mata and Michelle Herrera paced the Vaqueros (15-7, 3-0) with 13 points apiece. Herrera was 4-6 from the field and 3-4 on 3-pointers. Mata only made 4-14 shots and missed nine of 12 from long range.
The 5-8 freshman from Dos Pueblos High misfired on her first eight 3-point attempts but came up big down the stretch, hitting two straight triples to pull the Vaqueros within one at 68-67 with 4:05 to play.
"It just started to click in the second half," said Mata, who scored all her points in the final 12½ minutes. "The first-half shots felt 'on' but there was just something about it. Our rhythm and team chemistry really clicked in the second half.
"Once I made the first one, it just kept on going. I knew we could come back. I always have confidence in my team."
At the 1:43 mark, Mata canned another 3 from the right side to tie it at 70. After Cuesta missed two free throws, Mata grabbed an offensive rebound and missed a trey. The rebound went out-of-bounds to the Vaqueros.
Brooke Amenta threaded a pass to an open Keia Nobles, who made a layup with 59.2 seconds left for the winning basket. It was the first time the Vaqueros led in 18 minutes.
Nobles took a charge from Palma with 35.4 seconds to go. SBCC ran down the 30-second shot clock and Amenta threw up a 3-point prayer to beat the buzzer. There was a scramble for the rebound and Cuesta (14-8, 2-1) came up with it but couldn't get off a shot.
"I love that girl (Nobles)," said coach Sandrine Krul. "Stepping up and taking that charge with the game on the line. That was huge."
Taylor DeSilva scored all 10 of her points in the opening half, which ended with the Vaqueros trailing 35-34. DeSilva grabbed seven rebounds, including five offensive.
"We made an adjustment at the nine-minute mark because they were killing us in our man defense," noted Krul. "We had to go to a zone and it worked."We told Jas to keep shooting even though she missed all those shots. She knows she has the green light. They all have the green light."
Cuesta outshot the Vaqueros 46 to 36 percent but SBCC won the board battle 44-33, thanks to 20 offensive rebounds. The Vaqueros committed 17 second-half fouls, leading to 28 free throws for the Cougars. But they only made 16 for 57.1 percent.
Amenta had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists and Sara Crane contributed nine points, five rebounds and five assists before fouling out with 2:53 to play. Nobles had seven points, seven boards and five assists.
SBCC recorded 22 assists on 25 made baskets.
Courtney Chadwick topped Cuesta with 20 points.
Santa Barbara was coming off a huge 70-67 win at No. 2 Ventura on Wednesday that snapped the Pirates' 66-game WSC North winning streak.
"To beat Ventura in the fashion that we did was very emotional," Krul stated. "As a coach, you don't really have time to process it and get them ready. That's why I give all the credit to my team. Cuesta is a good team. We told our players to try to forget all the emotion from the Ventura game.
"We had just handed Ventura its first home loss in 122 conference games and we were down 13 with nine minutes to play tonight. This is the little team that could. We showed a lot of courage."