Corsairs Ship Sunk by Raiders

After impressive showings in their first two home games of the season, the Santa Monica Corsairs Women's Basketball team couldn't replicate that success against the Moorpark Raiders at the SMC Pavilion this Sat., Dec. 9 in Santa Monica, Calif. This was the Corsairs' first home game in a month after participating in seven consecutive tournaments away from school.

The game did not start off well for the Corsairs, as the Raiders jumped ahead with a 19-6 first quarter lead. After the Corsairs scored on their opening possession, the Raiders scored 19 unanswered points, before Santa Monica responded with Jessica Melamed's three-pointer and converted free-throw attempt by the end of the quarter.

The Corsairs improved dramatically in the second quarter, opening with another pair of Melamed's three pointers outscoring the Raiders 23-20, which was enough to cut the deficit by ten at the half.

The Corsairs continued the momentum in the second half as they cut the deficit to two points to begin the third quarter, but the Raiders kept up the pressure. The action went back and forth between the teams as they traded shots one after the other, but the quarter ended with the Corsairs trailing 56-47.

By the fourth quarter however, the Corsairs were outmatched, mustering only five points against the Raider's 13, in a 69-52 final score for Moorpark. This was the Corsairs first loss at home this season, with a 4-6 record overall.

Melamed led the way with 20 points after going 8 for 13 on field goals and 4 for 9 on three-pointers attempted, along with four rebounds, a steal, two assists, and a block. Rejinae Crandell finished second in scoring with 11 points, and Jazzmin Oddie led the team with nine rebounds.

When asked about their loss, Coach Strong said, "We have a lot of work to do defensively and some communication issues. They had a lot of open shots, we don't know who we were guarding, and you can't win like that. I don't think we played as well as we could have for the whole game."

The first quarter in particular is something the team plans to look at. "I think initially they came out flat... we figured it out in the second quarter but you can't play that way per quarter, you got to play that way the whole time," Strong said. "So I think we'll watch some film and figure it out."

So far in this preseason, the Corsairs have produced some results that helps prepare them for the upcoming season in January. Melamed is leading the team in points, averaging 16.7 points per game. Jazzmin Oddie is averaging 6.7 rebounds per game to lead the team in that category.

Coach Strong added that a long preseason will give them time to prepare for the real action. "Preseason goes until mid-January almost, so we'll get better. We've gotten better, but we got to get 'better' better against teams like this with size and other things like that, so we'll work on it and get better."

The Corsairs will play seven more tournaments throughout the entire month of December, starting at the College of San Mateo on Dec. 16, before returning home to host Rio Hondo at the Pavilion on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. The remaining tournaments would help the Corsairs prepare for what comes ahead of them when they begin to repeat as Conference champions.