By Jair Ramirez
Lack of defense and poor play in the paint were the demise for the Riverside City College Tigers women’s basketball team in their second game of the Title IX Tip Off.
“We are just very young, we have a lot to learn,” women’s basketball head coach Alicia Berber said.
“We just need to improve on sisterhood,” sophomore forward Antieya Brown said.
The Citrus College Owls applied consistent defensive pressure throughout the whole game. Their zone defense effectively suppressed by closing off open spaces and guarding the paint.
The Owls limited RCC’s chances to get open shots or drive to the basket, showing effective teamwork as they moved around the court.
This resulted in the Tigers committing too many bad passes, which led to turnovers.
The turnovers resulted in numerous layups and wide-open shots that Citrus capitalized on.
The Owls also took advantage of the space provided by RCC along the 3-point line and successfully made their long range shots.
The game began with both teams strongly, trading scores. Two late 3-pointers provided Citrus with a 17-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
That marked the closest the game would be, as the Owls dominated the paint on both ends of the court.
“It was a learning game for my teammates and I,” sophomore forward Janara Williams said. “There’s a lot of things we can learn from this game.”
The Tigers couldn’t match the fast pace and energy that Citrus began the second quarter with, and this momentum continued throughout the rest of the game.
“We haven’t matched anybody’s energy yet,” Berber said.
RCC didn’t help their cause with their poor shot selection.
Citrus outrebounded RCC, leading to easy fast breaks and second-chance points that aided their 80-59 victory.
“They just had a little bit more heart,” Brown said. “We just got to gain more.”
The Tigers start the season 0-2, having lost their first two games in the Second Annual Title IX Tip Off.
“After these two games the only thing we can do is go up,” Berber said.
Even more significant than the games is that they honor Title IX.
“These games mean everything,” said Brown. “Women all across the world fight for it, why not me too,” said Brown.
Title IX, a federal statute established in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments.
It is intended to protect students and other individuals from discrimination based on sex in education programs, sports or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
“These Title IX games are very important,” Berber said. “The reason for this weekend is to continue to keep awareness of what Title IX means for the women’s game.”
The statute significantly contributed to the growth of women’s sports by ensuring that women’s sports receive funding and assistance they never received before.
“Every gender should have the opportunity to play a sport,” Williams said.
Riverside City College next faces Bakersfield College at Wheelock Gym on Nov. 9.