NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Forcing turnovers allowed the Glendale Community College women's basketball team to climb back into Saturday night's home game against Bakersfield College.
However, it was two late turnovers committed by the Vaqueros that dashed those comeback attempts in a 58-52 loss to the Renegades in a Western State Conference game.
“They were ready to go in the second half and that's what I asked of them, to come back and battle,” Glendale Coach Carrie Miller said. “We came out strong in the first five minutes, but made a few mistakes and didn't finish and capitalize on their mistakes.”
After trailing, 30-19, at halftime, Glendale launched a 25-9 run to tie the game. The spurt was fueled by 12 Bakersfield turnovers and the Vaqueros' Olivia Ochoa, who scored 11 of the points in that span.
It was a deep three from Ochoa that tied the game at 44 with 5:12 to go, but the Vaqueros couldn't keep up the momentum and take the lead with Bakersfield's Sabrina Lopez (11 points) scoring the next four points.
Hope was still alive for Glendale (5-13, 1-1 in conference), but it was dashed by GCC turnovers with 1:53 and 1:30 to go, which allowed Bakersfield (9-8, 2-0) to go ahead by nine, 55-46, with 1:03 to go.
“We turned the ball over a few times in key possessions and that hurt us,” Miller said.
Bakersfield got a double-double from Brittany Smith, who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, as well as 11 and 10 points respectively from Giselle Flores and Emiliee Parks.
The Vaqueros’ second-half comeback actually started before the first-half buzzer when GCC's Bianca Galicia (seven points, seven rebounds) cashed in a three-pointer near halfcourt to trim the home team's deficit to 11, 30-19.
Still, Glendale struggled to get any offense going the whole game with Ochoa as its only player in double figures, with Gabriela Beltran as the second-highest scorer with nine points.
Defense led to some easy, quick GCC offense in the second half after it struggled in the first 20 minutes, shooting 21% from the floor.
“We didn't play a full 20 minutes in the first half and that hurt us,” Miller said. “We shouldn't have been down that much, but we allowed them to get the momentum.”