NORTHEAST GLENDALE — In a year where the Glendale Community College women's basketball team is trying to find its way and bounce back from last season's winless tribulations, there are bound to be some bumps in the road.
Like last Friday night.
After falling behind by as many as 26 points, the Vaqueros fell to Los Angeles Southwest College, 75-61, Friday night.
It was the first home game of the year for Glendale, and the first day of the weekend-long Vaquero Shootout tournament. Glendale now stands at 2-2 on the season.
"Ultimately, I don't think they were mentally prepared," said Glendale Coach Carrie Miller. "I don't know if they took them too lightly, or what it was. The first half, we didn't come ready to play."
The Vaqueros ran into foul trouble early, committing five fouls in the game's first three minutes. The Cougars were 13 for 20 from the charity stripe in the first half, while Glendale was seven for 12.
Vaquero starting forward Jenee Stevenson picked up two quick fouls and sat out most of the first half.
"The biggest thing was we got into early foul trouble with our bigs, so that hurt us inside," Miller said.
What also hurt Glendale inside was the presence of Southwest's Tierra Robinson. The Vaqueros had no answer for the 6-foot-2 center, as Robinson finished with 15 points, 24 rebounds and eight blocks.
The contest was close early on, knotted at 15 with 13 minutes remaining in the first half. Then, the Cougars, who dressed only seven players, went on a 20-4 run in a seven-minute period to take the lead. Southwest increased that advantage to 49-28 at the half.
The Cougars stretched their lead to 70-44 with a little more than five minutes remaining before Glendale closed out strong.
"They just had the intensity going their way, their momentum," said Glendale's Alexandra Mancillas, who led her team with 14 points. "We were a little unorganized, and they were getting up in our face. They just took a lead and we couldn't come back. From there we were just playing catch-up"
Stevenson finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Southwest's Cranesha Jennings led all scorers with 20 points.
"If we can just step it up on our rebounding and our defense, that right there will get us going," Mancillas said of what her team needs to do to get back on the winning track.
Glendale plays at 3 p.m. today against Antelope Valley on day two of their tournament.