When your team is going through a cold streak like Allen Huddleston’s Merced College women’s basketball team, the last thing you want to run into is a team that can points up on the board in bunches.
Unfortunately for Huddleston, that’s just what the Lady Devils have drawn in their Central Valley Conference opener against College of the Sequoias (11-8).
COS’ 67.8 points per game rank second in the CVC behind NorCal No. 4 Fresno (70.8). The Giants have cracked 70 points 10 times and 80 points four times. MC has only scored 70 points three times this season, capping out with a 79-point performance against American River.
The Giants are led by a quartet of scorers. Alexandria Reeves (13.5 ppg), Carly Tristao (13.3), Celeste Rollins (9.3) and Latrice Murphy (9.2) form a formidable core.
As solid offensively as COS has been, it has struggled against stiffer competition. The Giants are 0-4 against teams ranked in the NorCal Top 15 poll, averaging just over 56 points per game.
That leaves little margin for error for an MC squad that is scoring just over 57 points per game for the season.
Defense is obviously going to be the key for the Lady Devils, especially because COS has a propensity to turn the ball over (21.6 per game). What the Lady Devils do in with those turnovers will likely decide the game.
MC heads into this CVC opener playing some of its worst basketball of the season. The Lady Devils have lost four in a row and averaged just 22 percent shooting from the floor the last two games.
The cold streak is so severe that MC leading scorer Tiara Dunson (10.3) is 0-for the last two contests. For MC to be successful, Dunson and Tanisha White need to bust out of their recent funks. Tineka Spencer and Laura Robinson must mirror the play of Tristao and Rollins in the post. And sophomores Keyona McKibbens and Ashley Willison need to up their scoring output.