Lady Corsairs playoff run ends at Cypress

As the last second ticked off the clock inside Cypress College's gymnasium on Friday, so to did the final second of the Santa Monica College women's basketball season as the No. 9 Corsairs fell to the No. 8 Chargers 103-75 in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Playoff Tournament.

The Cypress Chargers started knocking down what seemed like every shot. Cypress finished the game shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 68 percent from three. The Corsairs struggled heavily in defending Cypress' offense.

"Are defense wasn't bad, but we had to make shots, a couple of the guys were scared...it's the execution in the offense that lost us this game," Corsairs head coach Lydia Strong said.

The SMC Corsairs came out strong for the first few minutes taking an early 7 point lead; however, Cypress picked up their game and never really looked back. The Cypress Chargers held onto a 22 point lead going into half-time after mincing through the Corsairs' defense and forcing 17 turnovers.

Coach Strong at half time said,"We have to shorten up the bench, but Aniese [Palmore] is the big dog. This is her team." Coach Strong truly believed her team had a shot at cutting the big deficit in the second half.

After a quick three pointer by Cypress, the Santa Monica College Corsairs scored 11 consecutive points to trim the deficit down to 14 points, but that was the closest the Corsairs would make it that evening.

Sophomore guard Aniese Palmore, lead the way for the team by scoring 27 points, had 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

Fellow sophomore forward Jamelah Grate, also, statistically, had a great game scoring 16 points and hitting the glass for 13 rebounds, 9 of which were on the offensive board.

"It was a hell of a season and I appreciate all the hard work and effort," coach Strong said after the defeat. "I am proud of their efforts because they helped get our program back on the map."

Moving forward, the defeat ended the Santa Monica College basketball careers for seven sophomores. Two of those seven, Briah Nelson and Palamore, were all-conference first team players this season. Nelson and Palmore, will both be attending the Western State Conference Sophomore Showcase this Saturday, at Cerritos College