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Vaquero rally falls short at Citrus, 68-64

Meagan Moore, a 5-7 guard from Arlington, Texas, hit 8 of 12 shots and scored a season-high 21 points. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Meagan Moore, a 5-7 guard from Arlington, Texas, hit 8 of 12 shots and scored a season-high 21 points. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

SBCC erased big deficits on Friday night and took the lead with five minutes to play before dropping a 68-64 non-conference women's basketball game at Citrus.

Freshman guard Meagan Moore had the hot hand for the Vaqueros (7-8), scoring a season-high 21 points on 8-12 shooting, including 3-6 from 3-point range. Aaliyah Pauling missed a triple-double by one assist. She scored 15 points with 12 rebounds, nine assists and six steals.

Sophomore forward Marisol Chavez-Delgado led all scorers with 30 points and seven rebounds for the Owls (10-7).

Lauren Noggle contributed 10 points and nine rebounds off the Vaquero bench. Hannah Rogers added nine rebounds and Santa Barbara won the board battle 45-43, outrebounding its opponent for the 11th straight game. The Vaqueros are second in the state in rebound margin (+16.3) and third in rebounds (49.6).

Citrus jumped out to a 19-5 lead and was up by 16 (24-8) after one quarter. The Owls extended it to 21 points (38-17) with 3:46 to go in the second period. The Vaqueros finished on a 9-0 run to trail 38-26 at intermission.

Santa Barbara committed 18 turnovers and shot 33.3 percent in the first half. In the second half, they had just six turnovers and shot nearly 40 percent.

The Owls went up by 14 points (44-30) with 7:19 to go in the third quarter. The Vaqueros got within seven (50-43) heading into the fourth, then used a 13-4 run to grab a 58-57 lead on a layup by Noggle with 5:02 remaining.

"It's so frustrating," said Vaquero coach Sandrine Krul. "We keep beating ourselves. We outscore Citrus for the last three quarters (+12) and we have to figure out why we've created such big holes for ourselves in the first quarter of the last three games."

Jennae Mayberry hit two free throws for a 63-62 Vaquero lead with 1:14 to play. Chavez-Delgado canned a jumper at the 39-second mark to give Citrus a one-point lead and Lydia Sanchez hit a free throw for a 65-63 advantage. The Vaqueros missed a shot and Pauling made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to one, 65-64, with 12 seconds left.

Citrus went up by three on two free throws and the Vaqueros turned it over on their last possession.

"We're a 30-minute team and we need to keep reminding our young players that basketball is a 40-minute game," Krul added.

The Vaqueros will take on Antelope Valley on Saturday at 3 p.m. on the last day of the Citrus Crossover.