Pirates take on Jaguars

OCC women's basketball team will play host to Southwestern in second round of SoCal Regionals.

The Orange Coast College women's basketball team will play host to Southwestern of Chula Vista on Saturday in the second round of the Southern California Regional playoffs.

The Pirates (22-8), who finished second in the Orange Empire Conference, return to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year. It's the 20th trip to the playoffs in Coach Mike Thornton's 22 seasons at the helm of OCC, the No. 5 seed in the SoCal Regional.

Southwestern (20-6), the No. 12 seed, shared the championship of the Pacific Coast Conference with an 11-1 record.

OCC defeated the Jaguars, 74-41, on Dec. 30 in the Ventura Tournament. In that game, Southwestern missed all 19 of its three-point attempts, was one for one from the foul line and committed 22 turnovers. OCC sophomore Samantha Hansen had 26 points on nine-of-15 shooting from the field. She also led the Pirates with seven rebounds and three steals.

Hansen led the team in scoring (15.9 per game) and rebounding (7.0) during the regular season. She also had a team-leading 46 blocked shots.

The Pirates, ranked No. 6 in the final Southern California poll and No. 9 in the final state poll, both released on Feb. 14, also rely heavily upon sophomore guards Amanda Deal and Alyssa Hanson. Deal averages 11.9 points per game, including a team-best 85 three-pointers. Hanson leads the team with 4.6 assists per game and also averages 9.1 points.

OCC lost its last two regular-season games.

Southwestern, which has won five straight and 11 of its last 12, is paced by sophomore guard Brittany Daniel (17.3 points per game).

Saturday's winner will advance to the regional quarterfinals on March 2 against either Cerritos (23-6) or Riverside (17-12).

— From staff reports

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