WBK: Vickers nets 25 in 92-83 season-opening win

Mhiah Vickers scored 15 of her 25 points in the first half on Friday night and SBCC opened the season with a 92-83 women’s basketball win over San Diego City in the SBCC Crossover tournament.

The 92 points were the most by the Vaqueros in nearly three years.

Jasmine Mata tallied all 13 of her points in the second half for the Vaqueros, who led 46-30 at halftime. Elia Salazar added 12 points and five rebounds and did a good job of defending the Knights’ 6-foot-4 center Alex Warren. Sheryl Scheppele had 10 points and five boards off the bench.

In Friday’s first game, Cuesta topped Fullerton 74-63.

The Vaqueros jumped ahead 7-1 and led by 11 on several occasions. They closed on a 17-7 run in the final six minutes to build their 16-point halftime lead.

Both teams used full-court pressure and the game was a foul-plagued affair with the teams combining for 70 personal fouls and 100 free-throw attempts. The Vaqueros were whistled for 40 fouls and made 24-38 from the line. The Knights picked up 30 fouls and hit 42-62 free throws.

“I’m glad that we scored in the 90s but I’m not happy that we sent the other team to the line so many times,” said coach Sandrine Krul. “We just have to do a better job of adjusting to the officials.”

SBCC outshot the visitors 44 to 35 percent and held them to 26 percent in the first half.

The Vaqueros went ahead 50-35 on a floater in the lane by Darla Morales. San Diego responded with an 18-5 run and got within two at 55-53 on two free throws by Audrey Cayetano with 11:43 remaining.

Vickers drove for a bucket and converted a breakaway layup after a steal, boosting the lead back to eight. When the margin got down to five with 6:21 to play, Mata scored seven straight on a pull-up 13-footer, a 3-pointer and a 16-foot jumper that boosted the lead to 76-66 with just over four minutes to play.

Vickers, a 5-11 sophomore guard/forward, hit 10-15 from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line. She also had two blocked shots. SBCC used all 15 of its players and 11 got in the scorebook.

“We train for every situation, so I wasn’t surprised by our effort,” said Vickers. “We had to make a few adjustments in the second half.

“We have a deep roster and our slogan is ’15 for 40’ (15 players for 40 minutes). We’re strong all the way through.”

SBCC will take on Fullerton on Saturday at 5 p.m., following a 3 p.m. game between Cuesta and San Diego City.