Palomar Women’s basketball lose season opener against Santa Ana in overtime.
The defending Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions started their season losing the first game of the year in a non-conference game 87 – 81 in overtime Friday night.
After having a dismal first half performance being down 41 – 30, the Palomar Comets (0 – 1) came out in the second half outscoring the Santa Ana Dons (1 – 0) 44 – 33.
With 8:23 left in the second half, Palomar was able to take the lead for the first time since they lead early on 13 – 12.
Unfortunately for the Comets, the lead was short lived as the Don’s were able to tie the score after Santa Ana’s Kelly Smit sunk two foul shots knotting the score at 66.
After that though, Palomar would once again take the lead and go on a 6 point run to have a 72 – 66 lead after Maureen Feegan scored on a runner down the middle.
Then what seemed to have plagued the Comets all night, the Dons were able to crawl back into the game by going inside for easy layups or going to the line for free throws.
By the end of the game, Palomar committed 31 fouls with five players fouling out.
With 1:14 on the clock and the score tied at 72, Santa Ana’s Carly Ducat gave them a two point lead with yet again another close range shot.
After coming off a time-out the Comets’ Jessica Scott was able to grab an offensive rebound and get fouled on her way up for the shot, giving her two shots on the line with 41 seconds left in regulation.
She made them both, bringing the score to 74 for bother teams.
With five seconds left, Santa Ana’s Jocelyn Calvillo missed a long three pointer for the win, keeping the game tied and going into overtime.
In overtime, the Dons once again went back to the inside, taking the lead with easy layups or sinking free throws as Palomar continued to play overly aggressive giving up one foul after another.
The Dons’ Jazmine Johnson, the games leading scorer dominated with her inside game scoring nine of her 23 points in overtime.
Santa Ana would outscore Palomar 13 – 7 in overtime, winning the game 87 – 81.
“We weren’t finding the right spots and we were breaking down on defense,” Palomar coach Leigh Marshall said. “We were just getting out hustled and that is our game, and they pretty much beat us at our own game.”
After the game Santa Ana’s coach Flo Luppani stated that even though they too had foul trouble, it was the players stepping up as a team that helped get this win.
“They (Palomar) get you rattled up and we needed to keep our composer and we showed our depth and we showed our teamwork” Luppani said. “when some kids foul out you got to go out and you got to play for your team, this is a team sport.”
Palomar was lead by freshman forward Dechae Evans who scored 23 points and Sophomore Maureen Fegan who chipped in another 18.
Next up for the lady Comets will be the Mt. San Jacinto Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 15 through Nov. 17 at San Jacinto College.
Photos by: Stephen Davis and Scott Colson