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Short-handed Vaqueros take WSC opener, 63-52

Sophomore center Hannah Rogers scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, helping the Vaqueros to a 52-24 domination on the boards. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Sophomore center Hannah Rogers scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, helping the Vaqueros to a 52-24 domination on the boards. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

SBCC outscored Cuesta 31-13 in the middle two quarters on Saturday night en route to a 63-52 road win in its WSC North women's basketball opener.

The Vaqueros were playing short-handed with second-leading scorer Diamond Alexander sidelined by injury and Sophia Torres unable to get to Santa Barbara due to the freeway closure.

Cuesta's players and coaches showed their class by making and signing a "Santa Barbara Strong" poster and giving the Vaqueros "goodie bags" and Gatorade prior to the game.

"That was awesome," said SBCC coach Sandrine Krul. "Cuesta, their coach Ron Barba and athletic staff are very classy, kind and caring."

Aaliyah Pauling led the Vaqueros (9-8, 1-0) with 19 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Meagan Moore scored 13 points and played 40 minutes of solid offense and defense.

Courtney Barba, who came in as the WSC North scoring leader at 19.3, was held to 14 points by SBCC freshman Lauren Noggle. Cuesta fell to 8-7 and 0-1.

After a 14-14 first quarter, the Vaqueros outscored the Cougars 12-6 in the second and 19-7 in the third to take a 45-27 advantage. SBCC outshot Cuesta 41.7 to 34.5 percent and won the rebound battle, 52-24, for the 13th straight game.

Hannah Rogers collected 12 points and eight rebounds for the Vaqueros. Holly Barrera added 11 points and six rebounds while Noggle had nine boards.

"We played hard overall, coming together at the offensive end and not rushing it," said Krul. "It really showed with the wide-open shots we were getting. We had synergy with our passing tonight.

"We were composed against their 1-2-2 trap and we converted a lot in transition. Defensively, Lauren shut down their No. 20 (Barba) which was huge for us."

The Vaqueros next game -- Wednesday at Oxnard -- has been rescheduled due to the closure of the 101 freeway. SBCC will play at Oxnard on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

SBCC will play its first home game in nine weeks on Saturday when Hancock visits the Sports Pavilion at 5 p.m.