Early foul trouble and an anemic offensive performance in the second half doomed the Pirates' women's basketball team to a 62-41 defeat at Pasadena City College Wednesday night in the semifinals of the SoCal Crossover Tournament White Bracket. Talia Taufaasau was the lone Pirate in double figures with 18 points and seven rebounds while LaDaesha Merriweather had a game-high 12 boards. Ventura will host Palomar college on Saturday Jan. 12 at 6:00pm in the bracket's third-place game.
The Pirates took the early lead with a jumper by Taufaasau and a corner three by Emma Larson. VC cooled off quickly, however, and the Lancers were able to come back and tie the score at 5-5. Victoria Maciel broke the deadlock and a four-minute scoreless skid by VC with a triple off a Madison Cvijanovich assist, and Robin Fallandy's old-fashioned 3-point play made it 13-8 for Ventura with 1:10 left in the opening quarter. Taufaasau hit for a 3-point play with 15 seconds left in the quarter, but PCC responded with a long three at the buzzer. Ventura led 16-13 at the quarter break.
The Lancers got hot to begin the second quarter with two more long-range bombs, and Taufaasau's jumper off an assist by Robin Prince was the Pirates' only score in a 14-2 Pasadena run. A Fallandy lay-up at the 6:30 mark stopped the bleeding, and Taufaasau hit a three to make it 26-23 for the Lancers midway through the period. Ventura was able to keep things close for the rest of the half, and trailed 32-29 at halftime.
The third period was a disaster for the Pirates as they were only able to connect on one of 11 shot attempts. The Lancers pulled away with a 15-5 period, and the offensive woes continued for VC in the fourth. Pasadena outscored the Pirates 30-12 in the final 20 minutes to set the final 62-41 margin.
Fallandy had her most productive effort of the season with six points and seven rebounds for VC. Cece Quintino had limited minutes due to foul trouble and scored six points.
The Pirates will finish non-conference play on Saturday Jan. 12 hosting Palomar College at 6:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center in the White Bracket's third-place game. That game will be proceeded by the consolation finals of the Blue Bracket featuring Mt. San Jacinto and Rio Hondo at 4:00 pm.