WBK: Mata leads Vaqs over Hancock

Jasmine Mata scored 18 points Wednesday night and Santa Barbara City College used a full-court press to rally past Hancock for a 66-57 women’s basketball victory in Santa Maria.

Mata made 5-8 from the field and 3-4 from 3-point range for her second-highest total of the season. Elia Salazar had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Vaqueros (10-15, 2-9 WSC North) while Mhiah Vickers collected 10 points and five boards.

The Vaqueros rallied from an eight-point deficit and took a 27-26 lead with a 9-0 run late in the first half, capped by a jumper by Sylvia Hoover-Puter. Hancock led 28-27 at intermission.

SBCC took the lead for good, 40-39, on a layup by Salazar with 14:45 to play. That sparked a 16-9 run that gave the visitors a six-point lead at 54-48.

Justine Roland scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half for Hancock (12-14, 2-9). The Bulldogs outshot the Vaqueros 45 to 41 percent. Santa Barbara made two more triples (6 to 4) and enjoyed a plus-7 advantage at the free-throw line (16-23 for SBCC, 9-20 for Hancock).

“Our press was working in the second half and we were playing our philosophy of 2 and 2 (stop 2, score 2),” said Vaquero coach Sandrine Krul. “It was like a playoff game. That’s the way our sophomores are playing the last two games, like we’re in the playoffs.”

SBCC hosts L.A. Pierce in its final game of the season on Saturday at 5 p.m.

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