The Corsairs Cruise Through The First Round of Playoffs
The screen is set and forward Lauren Davis sees the opportunity to go straight to the basket. The easy basket suddenly turns into a hard foul as she is knocked down. Drenched in sweat as Davis wipes the sweat near her eyes and makes her way to the free-throw line. Davis takes two deep breaths. The first shot is in. The crowd roars, but sudden silence falls upon the court as soon as Davis repositions herself on the free-throw line. Two more deep breathes and the shot is in. The crowd goes wild.
The Corsairs defeated San Diego in their first playoff game 89-78. The Corsairs rolled into the playoffs winning nine out of their regular season games. They were hungry and ready to dominate early on. With a record of 20-9 and an impressive conference record of 7-1 the Corsairs had huge momentum on their side. This was just another game for them to add in their win column.
The game started off with the Corsairs dominating offensively and defensively. Within the first three minutes the Corsairs were on a 11-2 run. Forward Mosou Secka had two blocks early on which really motivated the team.
“Defense gives us the energy we need to win games,” Secka said. “The offense always come to us but limiting our opponents from scoring drives us to play better in every aspect.”
San Diego began to get on the board by utilizing the foul line which made the Corsairs play with a less aggressive defense. The Corsairs could mirror points made by San Diego until one minute was left on the clock. The Corsairs were able to get a jump ball which led them to an extra possession. With the final shot guard Katya Echavez was able to score with a step back three pointer.
The Corsairs had a dominant first quarter ending it with a score of 27-14.The energy was high with the Corsairs as they came into the second quarter with a 5-0 run. This game began to look like a blowout. The crowd was going crazy. San Diego looked tired and a quick timeout was called.
Coming out of the timeout San Diego looked like they were ready to comeback, but the Corsairs quickly shut them down. The Corsairs were outscoring San Diego and gained a twenty-point lead with a minute left in the first half. San Diego called one last timeout and came out of it as a completely new team. They were able to score four consecutive points which would deplete the difference to 16 points.
The Corsairs led San Diego 46-30 at the half.
“The first half was strong for us because we were communicating well and moving the ball around a lot,” guard Jessica Melamed said. “Once the ball moves around we find the open person and look for the best shot we can make.”
Coming out of the half, the Corsairs looked ready to finish and win their first playoff game.San Diego came out looking to fight their way back. Scoring the first two baskets, San Diego looked reenergized. The Corsair defense was not as aggressive, in comparison to the first half, which led to some easy back door cuts and layups for San Diego. The Corsairs saw that the momentum was leaning toward San Diego so a timeout was called to cool them off.
Out of the timeout, the Corsairs began to trade baskets with San Diego. The Corsairs would get outscored in the third quarter but still had the lead with a score of 68-56.With a clear advantage, the Corsairs knew they had to play solid defense and create an offensive strategy to clinch their first playoff game.
The fourth quarter consisted of both teams exchanging baskets. The Corsairs would end up being outscored by one point, but ultimately succeeded in winning their first playoff game. The leading scorers were Lauren Davis who posted a stat line of 24 points and 10 rebounds while also adding 4 steals and 3 blocks, and Katlyn Flores who added 14 points and 7 assists.
The Corsairs will play their next playoff game at Ventura for the SoCal Regional Semifinals this Saturday.