Gators fall to Warriors
The SF State women’s basketball team (3-4) fell to California State University, Stanislaus (6-2) 61-54, after being unable to overcome a huge first half by the Warriors Saturday, Dec. 5.
Warrior point guard Alysa Valentine scored a game-high 28 points on 8-9 shooting from 3-point range. Tatsiana Dashkevich and Laura Lawson both led the Gators with 15 points apiece.
Lawson started off strong, scoring eight of her points in the first quarter.
“In the first half, I had a lot of energy to go after the ball,” Lawson said. “I just did what I could do to try and bring up the energy for my teammates too.”
The Gators’ troubles began in the second quarter, when the Warriors switched their full-court press from zone to man. Two Warriors would trap whichever player got the inbounds pass, making it hard for the Gators to pass their way out of the press.
“They were playing a zone press that we were handling pretty easy,” said head coach Dennis Cox. “They went to a man press, similar to the one we like to run, and we just lost our composure.”
In the second quarter, the Warriors scored 28 of their 30 points off turnovers. Cox called multiple timeouts during the quarter, but the Gators ball handlers couldn’t beat the press. SF State went into the half trailing 39-22.
The Gators were outscored 30-7 in the second quarter, and at one point trailed by 19 points. It was the only quarter the Warriors outscored the Gators. SF State closed the scoring differential in the fourth quarter.
Trailing by 16 points at the start of the fourth quarter, forward Laura Lawson hit a jump shot that would start a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to nine. Felicia Villarruel came into the game midway through the fourth and immediately hit a 3-point shot to bring the score to 45-51.
The Gators cut the deficit to four points after guard Tiana Henry grabbed a defensive rebound and made a half-court pass to Tatsiana Dashkevich, which led to an easy layup. The Warriors went back to a full-court press and slowed the Gators run.
SF State struggled to get the ball past half court while the Warriors went on a 9-0 run to push the lead back to 11. Gators Dashkevich and Villarruel each hit a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, but ultimately the second quarter deficit was too much to overcome.
“The positive thing is this team doesn’t give up,” Cox said. “This team has heart, we have good character people, they’re going to play hard and keep supporting one another.”
Freshman Kiara Ginwright showed dominance on defense in the paint, blocking six shots in the first half after blocking nine in her last game.
The loss was a hard one for the team, according to Dashkevich.
“I feel like we could do much better,” Dashkevich said. “We have heart, we have everything.”