Lady Vaqs hold off feisty Condors

Victor Bryant

The Santa Barbara City College women’s basketball team recorded a hard fought 77-66 victory Saturday in the Sports Pavilion over the Oxnard Condors.

The win raised their conference record to 5-1, bringing them one step closer to defending their WSC title.

The Lady Vaqueros got off to a slow start by falling behind 11-4 in the opening minutes after failing to convert early layups. Santa Barbara held the Condors scoreless for a five-minute stretch during the first half to take back control of the game and the lead on Ari Hendrix’s three pointer with 10 minutes remaining.

The team utilized their stifling defense to jump out to a 31-18 halftime lead.

“Anytime you hold a team under 20 points in a half your doing a great job defensively,” said coach Sandrine Krul.

The Vaqueros extended their lead to 20 points early in the second half behind the brilliant open-court play of Hendrix, who kept the defense off balanced by pushing the tempo.

“I push the ball when I see the opportunity, I try to look for my teammates but when the defense leaves me I take it myself,” Hendrix said.

Oxnard mounted an impressive comeback late in the second half by slowing down the pace and relying on its outside shooting. The Condors seized the momentum by putting their three-point shooting on display. The Vaqueros where caught off guard by the crisp ball movement and the accuracy that Oxnard demonstrated in their long distance shooting.

The Condors managed to cut the lead down to five with just over two minutes remaining, using aggressive play to get to the free throw line.

“We had some defensive lapses,” Hendrix said.”Oxnard has good shooters and we had some fouls towards the end that really hurt us.”

Katie Randall restored order with a three point play off a pick and roll with just over a minute remaining, which helped the SBCC Vaqueros regain the momentum. “We’ve been working on pick and rolls,” Randall said. “That play really gave us an energy boost.”

With under a minute remaining and holding an eight-point lead, the Vaqueros were able to hold off the Condors and get the much needed victory as they try to keep pace with Ventura – a team they shared the WSC title with last year.

The SBCC Vaqueros were able to hold on the game, dominating up until the final minutes of the game and using the experience gained in the preseason to pull out the close victory.

The team was able to overcome the Oxnard Condors whose talent is often times underappreciated because of their winless conference record.

“Player for Player Oxnard is a great team but we play better together as a team,” said coach Krul. “That’s what got us the victory.”