SAN MARCOS, CA -- Bad luck, missed opportunities, and a critical 3 added up to 67-66 defeat at the hands of the Cal State San Marcos Cougars. The Slugs fought an uphill battle from the start where they missed their first 10 shots. After eight minutes, the Slugs trailed 12-3. The Slugs got the offense rolling midway through with a 16-7 run. Leah Parrish got the Slugs rolling with a jumper. Sara Crane, who poured in 10 first half points, slashed through the Cougars for a layup. In a foul plagued first half where the referes called 28 fouls, the Slugs ran off a string of free throws. Parrish made 3. Crane and Sarah Mackey each followed as the Slugs closed the gap. Geena Giovannetti knotted the score at 19 when converted an offensive rebound into a basket. The Slugs appeared to take control behind the tough inside play of Lashay Alexander. Alexander hit two tough inside jumpers and ate up every defensive rebound. The Slugs led 27-21 with just 1 minute to play in the first half. The teams traded scores over the last minute and the Slugs led 28-24 at the half.
The early second half belong to the Cougars. They attacked the Slugs defense especially on the offensive boards. The Cougars out rebounded the Slugs on the night 52-38. The Cougars converted the second chance opportunities and tied the score at 34 at the 14 minute mark. The Slugs rallied again behind a steal and layup by Giovannetti and a sweet pick and roll basket by Mackey off an assist by Giovannetti. The Cougars came right back. Back to back baskets by Brianna Higgins gave the Cougars a 42-41 lead at the 11 minute mark. The teams traded baskets over the next 5 minutes. One sequence was highlighted by back to back blocks by Mackey on the same play. Erin Joo converted a layup and the Slugs led 59-58. This was a night however, where the Slugs would struggle from the free throw line (17-31). Three consecutive misses by Giovannetti allowed an opportunity to slip away but the Slugs still led. The Slugs caught an unlucky break. The Cougars got the ball inside and appeared to have an easy basket. Mackey swooped in and blocked the shot. Unfortunately for the Slugs, the loose ball ticked off Parrishs' hands to an open Higgins. Higgins scored and the Slugs trailed 62-59. Parrish missed an open jumper and the Slugs looked done when the Cougars score to open a 64-59 lead with only 1 minute to go. The Slugs called timeout.
Desperate for a hoop, the Slugs went inside to Parrish. Parrish missed but fought for the rebound and found an open Taylor Willis for a long three. Willis swished the long jumper and the Slugs trailed by 2. Only 38 seconds remained. The Slugs pressed and Giovannetti came up with a steal and called timeout. Willis made a beautiful pass to Mackey who was fouled. Mackey converted both free throws and miraculously the Slugs tied the score. Coach Kent decided to play zone. The Cougars passed the ball perfectly finding an open Cassie Damyanovich. Damyanovich drilled the open three. Things looked hopeless but on the ensuing possession Joo made an impossible shot while being fouled. The FT bounced off the rim. The Slugs fouled the Cougars but only 6 seconds remained. The Cougars missed but the Slugs long desperation jumper came up just short.
This was very successful season for the Slugs. The Slugs recorded a school record 18 wins including an 10 game winning streak and first time wins over both Menlo and Cal Lutheran. This was also a year where the Slugs showed they could complete with the best. A four point loss to the soon to be ranked #1 Whitman College shows how far this team has come. The Slugs will miss the excellent leadership of Seniors Taylor Willis, Melody Barooni and Ryane Ortiz but will be returning 13 players. We thank you ladies for a fun and entertaining season. We look forward to an exciting 2014 season.