The Pirates' women's basketball team took Glendale's best shot and survived the Vaqueros gritty effort to come from behind to claim a 62-56 victory Saturday at the Athletic Event Center. VC outscored the visitors 22-13 in the final period to claim the six-point win. Davina Del Castillo continued her strong play with her 11th double-double of the year. She turned in 15 points and 11 rebounds, along with four assists and three steals and two blocked shots for the Pirates (14-6).
The Vaqueros came to play, and took it to the Pirates physically in the first half. VC missed their first four shots while falling behind 4-1 before Kylie Vint made a short jumper from a Del Castillo assist at the 7:35 mark of the first quarter. The Pirate deficit climbed to seven points, 12-5, before Elissa Root handed a dime to Melissa Ohmie for a lay-up at the 1:24 mark. Jasmyne Martin scored on the next possession and Ventura trailed 12-9 at the quarter break.
The teams traded scores for the first four minutes of the second period. Del Castillo had a pair of buckets sandwiched around a drive and score by Nikki Puga, and Root hit a pair of charity shots to make it 19-17 at the 6:20 mark. The Vaqueros then went on an 11-0 run, stretching the lead to 30-17 with 2:29 on the clock. The Pirates missed five straight shots with another three turnovers before Del Castillo ended the skid with a lay-up at the 1:27 mark. Following a defensive stop, Root nailed a triple with a helper from Del Castillo, and Martin scored a lay-up on the final play of the stanza to make the halftime score 30-24 for Glendale.
The Pirate comeback continued into the third quarter as Vint scored with an assist by Del Castillo to complete a 9-0 VC run around the intermission. Del Castillo answered a Glendale score with a lay-up, Root hit from downtown, Martin scored a deuce, and Del Castillo scored inside again as the Pirates tied the score at 35-35 with 3:37 remaining in the period. Puga hit Ohmie for a lay-up at the 2:07 mark and a Pirate advantage, but the Vaqueros immediately responded with a made 3-pointer. Del Castillo tied the game again with a free throw, and the teams were tied twice more before the Vaqueros hit from range to lead 43-40 at the end of the period.
Glendale seemed to recover some momentum with an offensive rebound and putback to extend their lead early in the final quarter. But Ventura reclaimed it with a 6-1 run, with scores by Celeste Salazar, Vint and Martin, to tie the score once again, 46-46 with 5:28 remaining in the contest. After trading buckets, Vint scored on back-to-back possessions to put the Pirates ahead for good, 52-48, at the 2:45 mark. After a Vaquero charity shot, Martin hit two from the line and Puga hit another driving lay-up for a 56-49 edge. Ventura made just enough free throws down the stretch to extend the lead to nine points before Glendale hit a 30-foot three at the buzzer to set the final margin at 62-56.
Vint had another good night on offense with 12 points and Martin totaled 10. Salazar pulled in eight big rebounds while Root and Puga netted eight and seven points, respectively.
Ventura ends non-conference play with a mark of 14-6. They open Western State Conference play at home on Saturday Jan. 13 hosting Allan Hancock College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 pm and the game will be followed by the Pirate men against AHC. The Pirate women will also honor their Favorite Teachers immediately following the game.