The woes of a dreadful season continue to plague the Orange Coast College women’s basketball team, who lost to Orange Empire Conference rivals Fullerton College 77-61 on Friday.
A brief comeback late in the third quarter failed to push the Pirates to victory as multiple defensive mistakes resulted in costly turnovers and careless fouls.
“For some reason we just weren’t ready to play. I didn’t think we were executing offensively or defensively,” team head coach Mike Thornton said. “Our effort wasn’t good. It was just a total disaster.”
Thornton, who has seen unmatched success at OCC over the last 29 years, didn’t have anything to say to his team at half time for the first time in his career. His team has only won three games this season.
The Pirates held a lead for 1 minute and 8 seconds before Fullerton ran away with the game. An impressive 9-0 run from Fullerton in the second quarter made it impossible for OCC to bounce back.
“The problem is this [game] is a microcosm of the whole season. We haven’t really been able to put two halves together all season,” Thornton said.
Fullerton’s freshman guard Aliyah-Deen Ahmad made a habit of capitalizing off Coast’s numerous turnovers, ending as the game’s top scorer with 30 points (10-13 FG, 2-3 3PT).
On the other side of the court, sophomore forward Sidney Driggs was unlucky in two instances where she was called for fouls she didn’t commit.
This forced the pure shooter to the bench for an extended period of time, negatively impacting the ebb and flow of OCC’s game plan. She had 10 points on the night.
According to Thornton, Driggs remarkably plays with two herniated disks in her back and receives multiple injections throughout the season to nurse the injury.
Her resilience is infectious. Driggs is Coast’s top scorer, averaging 17.8 points per game, inspiring her teammates to preserve through this difficult season.
“These guys are really good kids,” Thornton said. “They come to practice every day, practice hard and try to do the best job that they can do.”
The Pirates will plow ahead into their next game against another OEC opponent in Saddleback College, who sit just above Coast in the OEC standings in sixth place. The game is on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Saddleback College.