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Arabs keep playoff hopes alive with win

February 15, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — With a shot at the Pacific Coast Conference postseason on the line in its final two games, the Imperial Valley College women's basketball team was in a must-win situation against Cuyamaca College here Wednesday.

After losing three of their last four, the Arabs needed to get back on the right track. And what better way to do it than with a 66-43 fanny-kicking of the Coyotes to improve to 5-4 in the PCC with one game to go?

"We knew we were in a must- win situation," said IVC coach Jill Tucker. "There was a lot laying on this game and we knew we had to come out and get it done."

Finally doing the little things that helped it jump to a quick start in the conference, IVC at times seemed to do whatever it pleased against Cuyamaca.


The Arabs did have occasional slips on defense, allowing the Coyotes to put together 8-0, 8-2 and 7-0 runs.

Fortunately for IVC, all the Cuyamaca bursts came when the Arabs had double-digit leads. IVC combatted the Coyote spurts with three double-digit binges, outscoring Cuyamaca 31-0 on those surges.

As it's been all year, Jello Moore and Sandra Ramos scored in double figures for IVC, with Moore scoring 13 and Ramos 14. Moore added 15 rebounds and Ramos 14. Jessica Prock finished with five rebounds, four points, two blocks and a steal.

But the play of point guard LaToya Jackson may have been the spark that ignited the Arab inferno. Usually an asset as a ball distributor and thief, Jackson came up with 24 points, eight steals and two assists.

"Me and the rest of my teammates just came out really focused," said Jackson. "I was just thinking about the last few games we lost and these last two regular season games."

Not normally an outside shooter, Jackson knocked down three treys, all in the second half.

"When I was out there I was open, so I just said to myself, ‘Why not shoot?', so I did," added Jackson. "I really think this was the best game I've played all year. I guess I was just feeling it."

Matching Jackson's production on the outside from the Coyotes was Nicole Pabst with three three-pointers. She finished with a team-high 13 points.

Despite Pabst's efforts and an 11-point night from Kelli Alexander, Cuyamaca coach Cheryl Campbell said the deciding factor was her team played a sluggish game.

"We just didn't show up. We didn't play well and we just didn't have any energy on the court," said Campbell. "I think we just played crappy."

Credit has to go to the IVC defense, which held the Coyotes scoreless for about 28 minutes.

Added Tucker: "I was really happy with the way our defense played.

"Offensively, we missed some shots, but I'll still take this win. A win's a win and now we have to get ready for Southwestern."

IVC closes PCC play at 7 p.m. Friday as it travels to Chula Vista to play Southwestern College.

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