The Fullerton Women’s Basketball team could not overcome a 20 point deficit as they struggled defensively and offensively towards the end of the first and second half of the game against the Riverside City College Tigers.
“It wasn’t great…We just didn’t play with the flow, and we are a team that needs to play with the flow,” said head coach Marcia Foster.
The Lady Hornets started off strong in the first half with a 3-pointer from freshman Lani Maehara, leading to a 10-5 lead six minutes into the game. Fullerton maintained a steady lead in the first quarter taking advantage of the three missed layups from RCC players.
Both teams showcased a one-point battle back and forth. Fullerton led, then the Tigers tied, on and on until Fullerton took the lead 27-26 into the start of the second quarter.
Aggression began to pour out from both teams in the first half. A foul by Fullerton’s freshman center Natalie Cardenas allowed Riverside’s sophomore forward Joana Adams to earn two points off of free throws, becoming the turning point for the Tigers in the first half.
Down two points, the Hornets fell behind the Tigers 33-35 going into the break.
The Hornets confidence came to a halt in the second half as the they struggled defensively.
RCC player Adriana Garcia made a crucial layup two minutes into the third quarter to take a lead of 39-33, changing the pace for the rest of the game. The Hornets could not get past their errors, allowing the Tigers to maintain the lead in the third quarter.
The Hornets kicked themselves back into gear in the fourth quarter with help from the bench, but could not prevail despite their 14-point come back in the last quarter.
In the end, the Tigers triumphed over the Hornets scoring 43-points the second half, building towards a 21 point lead with fewer than two minutes left in the game.
RCC capitalized on the Hornets 18 turnovers, missed layups and free throws. As well as playing aggressive offense, RCC accumulated most of their points in the paint and from second chances.
“We can play better defense, that’s for sure… Rebound the ball better, I just don’t think we did a good job with that,” Foster added about her team’s performance.
Sophomore Melody Thomsen lead the board with a team-high score of 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. Lani Maehara also put 10 points on the board, following Lyneya Turner with 9 points.
Thomsen was also honored before the game as it was Sophomore night. She was accompanied by her family, who drove 8-hours from Santa Rosa to watch Thomsen play her last home game as a Hornet.
“Overall I’m sad, but I am happy with the experience,” Thomsen said. “I love playing on my home court, I loved it here.”
Although the team did not win their last home game, freshman Guard Aliyah-Deen Ahmad still had high spirits moving forward.
“As a team we could have done better [but] It was a good way to send [Melody] off.”
The Lady Hornets play their last game of the season on the road at Saddleback College on Thursday at 5 p.m.