Originally written for publishing on February 14, 2013.
Fullerton College women’s basketball team blew a chance to end its losing streak in a heartbreaker Wednesday night, falling to the Saddleback College Gauchos at home, 57-56.
Turnovers and a questionable foul call marred a late rally by the Hornets to get themselves back in the game.
With the Hornets (6-18) holding a five point lead with under a minute left, Saddleback guard Myishia Watkins hit a diving layup and got sent to the free throw line. Off the free-throw miss, freshman guard Andrya Ventura was called for a foul fighting for a rebound, sending the Gauchos back to the line. Two more free throws made it a four point possession for the Gauchos to bring them within one.
After trading free throws and the lead, Watkins hit a layup which gave Saddleback a one point lead with 8.2 seconds to play. Hornet guard Tatiana Scott drove the lane but couldn’t hit the game winner. Forward Amber Washington grabbed the miss, her seventh offensive rebound of the game, but her put back was waived off by the officials as time expired.
Hornets coach Mary Hegarty was disappointed by the late whistles from the referees.
“I thought it was sort of taken out of our hands a little bit with some of the calls down the stretch,” Hegarty said.
The coach praised her team after the game for battling back after getting down early in the game. The Hornets were down ten with just under seven minutes to play before going on a run to tie the game at 46.
Andrya Ventura sparked the Hornets off the bench scoring six of the Hornet’s points during the run, including the game tying three. She finished the game with 13 points and nine rebounds in just 13 minutes of play.
Hegarty’s team came out in the second half trying to work the basketball down low and get easy points. Amber Washington had a strong game for the Hornets in the paint, scoring 17 points and pulling down 16 rebounds to notch her fourth double-double of the season.
Rebounding from a rough first half, Tatiana Scott started attacking the lane in the second period, getting to the free throw line and allowing easy offensive rebounds by her teammates. The Hornets grabbed 15 offensive rebounds after halftime, five of them by Washington.
“We worked hard to fight back to make it a close game,” Scott said. “There were some bad calls down there, but nothing you can do about that.”
The Hornets dug themselves a hole early in the game, falling behind 19-8 after turning the ball over on five straight possessions. Turnovers were an issue all night as the Hornets committed 30 in the game, almost nine more than their season average.
“We just played horrible in the first half,” said Ventura. “We just wanted to focus on playing as a team and swinging the ball [in the second half].”
Next up for the Hornets is their last home game of the season, as they host Irvine Valley College this Wednesday night. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m..
“The sophomores, it’s their last game in the Hornet’s Nest,” Hegarty said. “We got to just bounce back and do it again. Play hard and get that ‘W’ we’ve been trying to get.”