The Pirates' women's basketball team is developing a very good habit. For the sixth game in a row they produced a strong fourth quarter on both ends of the floor Saturday, pulling away from a strong effort by visiting Moorpark and posting a 58-45 victory at the Athletic Event Center. VC outscored the Raiders 14-4 in the final period, and they are now outscoring opponents 131-49 over the past six games in the final stanza. Kyleesha Green flirted with a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Ventura (18-5, 3-0).
After a cautious beginning, where both teams seemed to be gauging their opponents, VC took control of the contest in the last half of the first period. After Moorpark closed to with 8-6 with 4:07 on the clock, the Pirates went on an 11-2 run to close the period. Green and Melissa Ohmie each hit two free throws and Rhiana Dougan connected on a 3-pointer to start the run. Following a Raider bucket, Sienna Brown hit a jumper and Green netted two more charity tosses as Ventura led 19-8 at the quarter break.
Ventura stretched the advantage to 27-12 at the 4:53 mark of the second quarter on Green's offensive rebound and putback before Moorpark began a slow, steady comeback as the Pirates' game went south quickly. VC did not score for the remainder of the period, turning the ball over seven times and missing three field goal attempts. The Raiders closed to within 27-20 at halftime.
The Raiders hit the opening bucket of the third quarter to make it a 10-0 run, closing to within five points. Th teams traded baskets for most of the play in the period, with Ventura answering most every Moorpark score. VC maintained the lead at seven points on scored by Brown, Dougan and Green, and when MC had consecutive scores, Davina Del Castillo provided the answer with an inside basket. Moorpark kept up the pressure, and pulled to within a single point, 40-39 on a 3-pointer. Green provided the answer for the Pirates, however, and Del Castillo answered the Raiders' next score. Ventura led 44-41 to begin the final period.
Katie Campbell got Ventura off on the right foot to start the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws and another score on a strong drive to the basket. Brown scored to make it 50-43 with 5:35 on the clock and Del Castillo provided back-to back scores to stretch the lead back to double-digits. Neither team could find the bottom of the net consistently down the stretch, and the Pirates posted the 58-45 win.
Brown had another solid night with her eighth double-double of the season, scoring 12 points with 11 rebounds. Del Castillo shook off early foul trouble to provide her fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds in addition to three steals and three blocks. Ventura dominated the boards with a 51-34 advantage and had just 14 turnovers in the game, four in the second half.
Ventura will next head to Oxnard College on Wednesday Jan. 25 for a 7:00 pm contest with the Condors. The game follows the Pirate men at 5:00 pm and both games can be seen live on the VC Sports Network.