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IVC women beat Siskiyous, 70-51

January 12, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

With Pacific Coast Conference action kicking off in less than a week, the Imperial Valley College women's basketball team needed a bit of a tune-up to prepare for what it hopes will be a championship run.

On Friday, IVC got the work it needed as it beat College of the Siskiyous 70-51.

"This was a good game for us. We knew that this team was good enough to wake us up and weren't going to be so easy that we'd run them over," said IVC coach Jill Tucker. "They played us pretty tough and so it was a good challenge for us."

The team had not played a game in over two weeks and had not been able to practice at full strength with some players having gone home for the holidays. The game was the perfect time for IVC to get back on the track that had it on pace to surpass last year's win total of 18 games. With the win, the Arabs improved their win total to 14.

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Even though the game was a good way of measuring where her team is at right now, Tucker said it also allowed her team to get tested in other ways, other than physically.

"I know where we're at physically. This team is already physically ready to begin conference play," said Tucker. "But we just need to be mentally ready for it. A game like this, where we did have a challenge, does help.

"But now that everyone is here we have a few days to prepare for conference. All this that we've been going through, all these preseason games, is all just part of the process to see where we're at," Tucker said.

If there's anything that Tucker's squad can take away from Friday's game, it's that it can overcome adversity and close a game strong when need be.

Down 24-14 midway through the first half, IVC looked exactly like a team that hadn't played against live competition in over two weeks and seemed to be on its way to its sixth loss of the season.

But instead of mailing in the game, the Arabs pulled everything together and outscored the Eagles 16-3 to take a 30-27 lead into the intermission.

Sandra Ramos and LaToya Jackson led that spurt combining for 12 points.

Riding the momentum of the first half, the Arabs didn't let up in the second as they came out shooting, namely Ramos, who dropped three three-pointers on COS in the first five minutes of the half.

Up 43-34 with 12 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the game, IVC went on a 7-0 run to take a 16-point advantage.

It was then that the Eagle offense started responding, but for every bucket they dropped, the Arabs answered with one of their own. Still, COS was able to get within nine points with less than 1:30 to play.

That's when Jackson took over.

With her team allowing the Eagles to climb back in, Jackson scored eight of IVC's next 10 points, leading a 10-0 binge to close the game and walk away with a 19-point win.

Ramos led the way with 26 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and two blocks and Jello Moore added 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

"Everybody was rusty because of the time off we had. And I think tonight, we were able to get back in the swing of things," said Jackson, who finished with 23 points, eight assists and five steals. "I think we're starting to get to where we want to be. We still need to work on a couple more nicks, then we'll be there. Right now, though, I just can't wait to play Mesa."

The Arabs (14-5 overall) will kick off PCC play at 7 p.m. Friday as they play at San Diego Mesa College.

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