Women’s basketball defeated by Cal State San Bernardino on Senior Night


Jeffrey Davis

Being double teamed as was the norm for the second half of the game

Amy Chastain, Sports Editor


CSUSM women’s basketball lost to 5th ranked Cal State San Bernardino at MiraCosta College on Feb.21.

The evening started on a high note, with the only senior, Brianna Higgins, being honored in  pregame ceremonies. Despite the special nature of the night, the Cougars were unable to pull off a win. They closed their last home game at MiraCosta with a 53-70 loss.

The Cougars struggled offensively in the first quarter. Only Ashley Jenkins, Savannah Camp, Jasmine Matar, Ashley “AJ” Jenkins and Higgins were able to find the net. Their efforts only led to 12 points.

The Coyotes did not experience the same lack of depth when it came to scoring. They put up 19 points from seven girls, showing the ability to spread the offense.

It was not until the second quarter that the Cougar offense began to blossom. Higgins opened up the second quarter with a scoring drive. Camp and Ashley Ontiveros soon added points to the board, but their efforts were drowned out by a Coyotes’ offensive attack.

The Cougars closed out the second half down 19 points, 23-42.

In spite of a struggling offense, Jenkins’ aggression and fast breaks stood out.

With 3:33 remaining in the game, the Cougars stole the ball off of a foul possession and fed it to Jenkins who ran up the court with defender in hot pursuit.

Jenkins wisely let her defender react early, sending her defender over her shoulder. This set Jenkins up for a successful fast break, once again bringing the crowd back into the game.

“We asked [AJ] to push the tempo tonight and I thought she was really aggressive and got a lot of good things to the rim,” Head Coach Renee Jimenez  said. “When she’s aggressive, it opens a lot of stuff up for everyone else. She did a great job tonight doing that.”

As the game closed out, the Cougars retrieved and then immediately lost a rebound off of Coyote Michelle Okoiroke’s shot attempt. The Cougars then won fought for another rebound, but lost it once again.

This exchange with 30 seconds remaining was representative of the game at large—the Cougars hard fought, but not quite enough.

Now, with two road games to finish the season, the task at hand is proving that despite a rough season, they belong in the CCAA.

“How we end our season is how people are going to perceive us. If we go up north to Humboldt [State] and [Cal Poly] Pomona and roll over, we won’t be taken seriously. So we’re going to keep fighting our last two games, end the season on a high note and show that we’re here to be taken seriously.