The VC women's basketball team used a decisive 20-5 run over a seven minute period midway through the first half to pull away from Oxnard College, posting an 84-60 victory over the Condors Saturday night at the Athletic Event Center. Madison Kast had 21 points on just 12 shots to lead Ventura (17-7, 3-2) while Yasmine Ahllamara totaled 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Kimora Pooler had 12 points and nine rebounds while Talia Taufaasau netted 12 points.
The Pirates had a tough go of things in the early going. After taking a 6-4 lead on Cece Quintino's bucket, VC went over five minutes without a score. In the meantime, Oxnard scored seven straight points to take an 11-6 advantage with 2:18 remaining in the first quarter. Taufaasau hit one of two free throws to begin the decisive run, and Kast converted two buckets around a free throw on consecutive trips down the floor to give the Pirates the lead. Quintino then hit another charity toss for a 13-11 Ventura advantage at the quarter break.
The run continued in the second period with a 3-pointer by Ahllamara. Taufaasau scored a lay-up and Emma Larson answered an OC score by converting an offensive rebound for two. Pooler had a response for an Oxnard bucket by scoring two, and Ahllamara hit another shot from range for a 25-16 lead with 7:20 on the clock. Kast scored eight straight points during one stretch to close the half as Ventura led 39-21 at the intermission.
Four different Pirates score din the first two minutes of the second half as they opened up a 47-26 lead on Quintino's driving lay-up with 7:48 left in the third. The Condors held tough, however, matching the Pirates score-for-score through most of the period. Pooler hit a bucket at the 3:52 mark, and Taufaasau's 3-pointer put Ventura ahead 58-36. VC led 64-43 after three quarters of play.
In the final stanza, VC went over four minutes without scoring, but the Condors were only able to score five points over that span, closing to within 64-48. Taufaasau got Ventura untracked with a drive and lay-up at the 5:44 mark, and Kast followed with an inside score. Ahllamara's 3-pointer was followed by a Deuce from Alyssandra Lacanilao and two points from Quintino for a 75-52 lead with 2:52 remaining. The Pirates cruised the rest of the way in for the 84-60 win.
Quintino totaled nine points and seven assists in the game and LaDaesha Merriweather pulled in a team-high 11 rebounds. Ahllamara had five steals defensively and Kast recorded three blocked shots.
Saturday was also the Pirates' 13th Annual Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Game. Six honorary starters, all-breast cancer survivors, were introduced before the game. A silent auction was also held during the game and a total of $1,342 was raised for the Ribbons of Life Breast Cancer Foundation in Ventura.
Ventura next travels to Santa Barbara City College on Wednesday Feb. 12. The Pirates and Vaqueros will tip off at 5:00 pm.
The Pirates and Condors with six honorary starters, all breast cancer survivors, before the game Saturday at the Athletic Event Center. (photo by Felix Cortez)