The Ventura College women's basketball team used another strong third quarter performance to pull away from Allan Hancock in VC's 59-46 Western State Conference North Division game in Santa Maria Wednesday. Cece Quintino led the Pirates (17-7, 2-0) with 21 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals while Victoria Maciel had the outside touch with five three's en route to 18 points. Talia Taufaasau contributed 11 points and dropped six dimes and LaDaesha Merriweather pulled in 10 rebounds.
Hancock built an early 5-0 lead, and maintained the margin throughout most of the first quarter. Trailing 13-7 with 2:33 left in the period, the Pirates went on a 5-0 run to tighten things up. Maciel hit one of two free throws, followed by lay-ups by Quintino and Taufaasau for a 13-12 quarter score.
Ventura trailed 17-14 two minutes into the second quarter before going on a 12-2 run to take the lead for good. Taufaasau assisted a Quintino lay-up, followed by a score by Maciel. Taufaasau then hit Merriweather for two on a sweet pick-and-roll play before a Bulldog basket made in 20-19 at the 5:43 mark. Colleen Clow assisted a Quintino triple, followed by an Emma Larson pass to Madison Cvijanovich for another three. VC led 26-19 at the 4:03 mark, and went into halftime ahead 28-24.
The Pirates pulled away in the third, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-8, most of the points coming in a 13-4 run over the final seven minutes of the stanza. Merriweather scored on a putback to start the run, and Maciel sandwiched two 3-pointers around a Quintino mid-range jumper. Quintino then hit another three and Taufaasau followed up with a lay-up just before the horn sounded and Ventura was ahead 47-32 at the quarter break.
The Bulldogs tried to mount a comeback in the final 10 minutes, but Ventura was able to hold them off. Maciel hit a key-trey early in the quarter and Quintino hit from range late to maintain the advantage. Maciel finished things off with her fifth 3-pointer of the day as VC eased into the 59-46 victory.
The Pirates next travel to Oxnard College on Saturday Jan. 26. The contest with the Condors is scheduled for 3:00 pm.