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Loss puts Arabs in must win situation in final week

February 10, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

SAN MARCOS — A little more than two weeks ago the Imperial Valley College women's basketball team was riding high atop the Pacific Coast Conference with a 3-1 record.

The Arabs have run into a bit of a bump, or bumps, in the road, losing three of their last four with the most recent a 59-45 loss to Palomar College here Friday.

Now, with a 4-4 PCC record, IVC is in a must-win situation in its last two games to have any shot at the postseason.

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Earlier in the season the Arabs manhandled Palomar 67-51. That is the only blemish on Palomar's PCC record.

The deciding factor wasn't the Comets being a better team but making plays when they had to.

"They're not a better team than us. I think we may have some better players than them," said IVC's Jessica Prock, who had eight points, four rebounds and three steals. "They just executed and we didn't."

What also hurt the Arabs was a lack of offense. Through an 8-minute stretch in the first and second halves Palomar outscored IVC 15-0.

Shots weren't falling for the Arabs, but changes in the Comets' defense threw off IVC's offense. IVC coach Jill Tucker said Palomar ran about three defenses, which affected the offense, especially on the outside.

Arab guard LaToya Jackson thought the officiating also took the Arabs out of their game.

"The officiating seemed to be one-sided. They were making a lot of bad calls," said Jackson, who finished with four points, four assists and two rebounds. "That really took us out of our game. We really couldn't do anything without worrying about the refs calling fouls."

The referees called a tight game throughout but it seemed to be tighter in the second half.

In the first half IVC's offense was running with relative fluidity as an 11-2 burst tied things with 8:30 to play before a late push extended the Palomar advantage to eight points at the intermission.

Heading the charge for the Arabs in the first half was Sandra Ramos with nine of her game-high 13 points. Ramos finished with six rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

Despite matching the Comets score-for-score through a 9-minute stretch in the second half, an 8-point halftime margin turned into a 19-point hole IVC couldn't escape.

Behind two three-pointers from Sylvia Lizarde the Arabs came within 11 points, but the rebounding of Palomar's Malia Altieri and Oni Mauga took away second chances for IVC. Altieri and Mauga combined for 21 rebounds.

Leading the Arabs on the glass was Jello Moore, finishing with nine boards along with 12 points, four steals and three blocks.

Tucker thinks it will take no less than the team's best to win out in its last two games.

"In order to win the next games everyone is going to have to step up. We need everyone's best games."

The Arabs host Cuyamaca College at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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