Frustration Looms as Lady Corsairs Lose Three Games in a Row by Double-Digits
While the coaching staff tries to retune this once powerful defensive machine, frustration looms around the locker room as the Lady Corsairs lose three straight games-two on the road-nearly all by double-digit margins.
With the last road game loss against Moorpark College on Saturday, Nov. 22, the Lady Corsairs start their first five games in the season with a conference-worst-team record of 1-4.
The last three games have all finished by nearly double-digit losses, two of which have been on the road.
The first of the three was at home against Palomar College, where the Lady Corsairs were out-scored and out-run by a ranked team that won the game with a score of 73-60.
The next game was on the road where SMC visited Irvine Valley College, only to lose the match-up in a nail-biter contest by nine points with a final score of 51-42.
"We started off playing well, but we lost [the flair] when [Irvine Valley] started catching up," said Chantal Diaz, who wears jersey #12 for the Lady Corsairs. "We didn't play our game and settled for the loss. We just didn't try hard enough."
Although both teams got 42 boards for the game, SMC out-rebounded Irvine Valley on the offensive glass by 15-13.
"Rebounding was a big problem along with getting back on defense- we were slow getting back (on the transition)," Diaz said.
The Lady Lasers shot 39.6 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from beyond the three-point territory, much better than their opponents did, who shot for 29.5 percent for the game and missed all ten of their shots from downtown.
"Offensively, we couldn't make a shot-at all. None of our shots were going in and defensively, we were not playing smart," said Diaz.
Even though the Lady Corsairs shot 60 percent from the charity strike, their sloppy defense attributed to their rather slow transition game.
The leading scorer for the Lady Corsairs was Jewell Morris, #14, who shot 42..9 percent from the field and finished with a team high 14 points and 10 rebounds, four of which were offensive boards. She is also tied the team high for steals with a total of three.
The next game proved to be the worst and hardest-to-swallow loss of the season.
When the Lady Corsairs visited Moorpark College, this past Saturday night, Nov. 22, their high hopes of ending their two-game losing streak came to a crashing halt as the Lady Raiders flat-out shut their opponents down closing game with a 28-point margin and a final score of 70-42.
The game was a disaster from the start as the Lady Corsairs got into some early foul trouble and failed to seize on some crucial opportunities that could have kept them in the run for the win.
The worst part to swallow for the Lady Corsairs was that Moorpark College had a dismal shooting night, with a field goal percentage of 31.2 percent and a three point percentage of 25 percent for the night. However, breaking down their opponents' defense, which allowed them to get to the rim more often with a foul call every few possessions and making their free-throws down the stretch, was the deciding factor that propelled the Lady Lasers to a blow-out win.
If the Lady Corsairs could not buy a bucket their first road game loss, a few days prior, than this time around they could not even go window-shopping to look at it.
SMC shot a terrible 19 percent from the field and an even worse .06 percent from beyond the arc. Their free-throw percentage faired a bit better but still discouraging with 41.2 percent to finish the game.
Their foul trouble, missed opportunities with second chance buckets and a lack of consistent post and perimeter defense attributed to their almost ghastly transition game- as seen by their 25 total turnovers and their disappointing loss.
The one highlight for the Lady Corsairs was their rebounding. SMC out-rebounded Moorpark College by 13 points with a final count of 37-24. They also out-rebounded their opponents on the offensive glass with a final tally of 15-10.
Speaking of the game, Diaz alluded to the fact that they "weren't playing as a team," and "again settled (for missed opportunities)."
"I think we have to play better as a team and make each other want to play harder," said Diaz. "We don't do enough of that."
Along with the players' frustration of their performances are the coaches' disappointments towards the lack of productivity from their players.
"We just gotta get them to bring that sorta relaxed mentality we see in practice to the games," remarked Dan O'Fallon, assistant head coach of the women's program at SMC.
"We want to see someone be the hammer on the team. There is a hammer in this group; it just depends on which one wants to be the hammer," O'Fallon said. "They a good group of young ladies, they want to help each other but at the same time they don't want to be selfish. Even though this is a team game, every now and then someone has gotta be selfish-that's how all the great [teams] were. But unfortunately, nobody wants to be selfish."
The team itself is loaded with talented young ladies at every position. Whether it is the defense, transition game, or the second chance opportunities coming from the offensive glass, the ladies have the caliber quality to be successful as they were the last couple of years.