SMC women's basketball drops conference opener

When you cannot have your best players on the floor, the only option is to coach up the players you have and hope for the best.

Such is the situation that Santa Monica College Corsairs women’s basketball coach Lydia Strong has found herself in this season.  The Corsairs dropped their conference opener to the College of the Canyons Cougars, 77-59, last Wednesday night.

Strong has been without two of her key players since the early part of the preseason as freshman forwards Akayla Brown and Vanessa Zamora were involved in a car crash that left both players out for the year.

Pair that with the dismissal of freshman guard, Mija Williams, and the torn ACL for starting point guard Jessica Melamed, the Corsairs bench has been extremely thin.

Against the #18 ranked Cougars, the lack of depth was exposed.  

Starters Roberta Hayes and Katlyn Flores were both held scoreless and the team as a whole shot 25 percent from the floor.

The lone bright sport for the blue and white was the play of sophomore guard Oshaela Grey, who lead the Santa Monica with 27 points on 34 percent shooting.

The Cougars dominated on the inside with sophomore forward Monica Friedl finishing with 18 points and seven rebounds, while fellow sophomore forward Hannah Green rejected 15 Corsair shots.

The Corsairs will look to win their first home game of the season when Citrus College comes to visit on Wednesday. Tip-off will be at 5 p.m..

As for what she’ll do with the team on the floor and the lessons to be learned from a drubbing, coach Strong said, “We’re looking to build on it.”