Nobles’ steal & FT lift Vaqueros, 65-64

Keia Nobles stole an in-bound pass and hit a free throw with 9.2 seconds remaining on Wednesday to lift SBCC over Cuesta 65-64 in a WSC North women’s basketball game at San Luis Obispo.
Nobles finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the short-handed Vaqueros (12-14, 6-5), who took sole possession of third place from the Cougars (13-13, 5-6) with one game to play.

Mercedes Gonzalez led SBCC with 13 rebounds. Jennifer Jimenez scored 13 points, Shannon Abdulla had 10 off the bench and Katie Grande hit a pair of key 3-pointers in the first half. The Vaqueros led 32-27 at intermission.

“We’ve had five players go down with season-ending injuries,” said assistant coach Ashley Alderton. “Our players are really battling. They’re playing for the ones who couldn’t play.”

It was back-and-forth in the final two minutes. Alyssa Palma put Cuesta up 64-62 with two free throws at the 23-second mark. Jimenez tied it up with a pair of foul shots with 16.4 showing.

Nobles, a freshman forward from Oxnard, deflected a Cuesta pass to herself and was fouled with 9.2 seconds left. After she made the first free throw and missed the second, the Cougars missed a long final shot.

The Vaqueros conclude their season on Saturday with a home game against L.A. Pierce. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.

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