It was not their best game of the season, but it was effective just the same. The Pirates' women's basketball team used a second quarter surge to pull ahead of Allan Hancock College Wednesday night at the Athletic Event Center, en route to posting a 56-42 victory over the Bulldogs. Cece Quintino led Ventura (21-8, 6-1) with 21 points, four assists and four rebounds while Talia Taufaasau chipped in 10 points and five dimes. Victoria Maciel had eight points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Hancock converted on six of their first eight shot attempts in building a 12-7 lead early. A pair of threes by Taufaasau kept the Pirates close, and Quintino hit a jumper and a pair of free throws, but VC had trouble getting untracked. The Pirates made just 3 of 13 shots in the quarter, and trailed 16-11 heading to the second.
Colleen Clow grabbed an offensive rebounds with a putback to start the Pirate second quarter, beginning four scores on four possessions for Ventura. Quintino converted a Taufaasau steal into two points, and Maciel hit a two and a tree to give VC a 20-11 margin with 7:22 left in the period. LaDaesha Merriweather and Madison Cvijanovich both scored inside, and Quintino hit another trey to set up Maciel's last-second 3-pointer to close the half. the Pirates led 30-22 at intermission.
The Bulldogs kept up the fight after halftime, closing to within four points, 32-28, with 6:37 on the clock. Quintino hit a three to hold off the AHC charge, and Cvijanovich hit another 3-pointer to stretch the lead back to 41-29 with 3:40 remaining. Quintino scored a three in the final minute of the period with an assist by Taufaasau as the Pirates led 45-30 at the quarter break.
Sloppy play marred the final period as the Pirates were unable to pull away and the Bulldogs unable to come back. Merriweather converted a Quintino assist, and Taufaaasau made a jumper to stretch the Pirate advantage to its largest, 51-32, at the 6:45 mark. AHC closed the gap to 13 points late, but could get no closer as Ventura posted the 56-42 win.
Merriweather contributed seven points and nine rebounds to the Pirate cause.
Ventura returns home on Saturday Feb. 16 with a 7:00 pm date with Oxnard at the Athletic Event Center.