After a slow start, the VC women's basketball put things into high gear racing past Santa Barbara 94-65 Saturday night at the Athletic Event Center. VC trailed 17-8 with 3:07 left in the first quarter before outscoring SBCC 86-48 the rest of the way. Madison Kast led five Pirates in double-figures with 18 points and Kimora Pooler totaled 16. Alaina Garcia and Talia Taufaasau each netted 12 and Yasmine Ahllamara scored 11 points in the win for Ventura (16-4, 2-0).
It was a rough start for the Pirates as they turned the ball over five times in the first five minutes of play. Kast's bucket with 8:08 left n the quarter made in 5-4 for the Vaqueros before VC fell victim to a 12-4 run over the next 4:31. Ahllamara's three at the 3:29 mark kept the Pirate deficit under double-digits and Kast's old-fashioned 3-point play started the Ventura comeback at the 2:48 mark. The Pirates closed the half on a 10-2 run including a three from Alyssandra Lacanilao and three free throws by Garcia. VC trailed 19-18 at the quarter break.
VC began to take control in the second period. Kast scored inside to give Ventura its first lead, 20-19, with 8:48 remaining before Ahllamara made one of two free throws on the next possession. The Vaqueros tied things up at 21-21 at the 7:04 mark before VC used a 7-0 run to jump out in front. Pooler scored a bucket, then made one of two charity shots and Taufaasau nailed two free shots. LaDaesha Merriweather scored inside halfway through the stanza and Ventura led 28-21. The teams played even from that point out and the Pirates led 38-31 at halftime.
Ventura slowly pulled away in the third quarter. They scored on seven of their first nine possessions of the period, including a lay-up by Taufaasau followed by a putback by Cece Quintino. Ahllamara scored on a strong drive to the hoop and Kast converted a strong move inside. Quintino completed a 3-point play, and Pooler did the same on the next possession, both off of offensive rebounds. Finally, Victoria Maciel cashed in Garcia's dime with a corner three for a 55-39 lead midway through the period. VC continued to score at near-record pace, including a 3-point play by Kast and Garcia's triple from the left corner just before the buzzer. The Pirates scored 33 points in the period, their second-highest total ever, and led 71-51 heading to the final 10 minutes.
The Pirates continued to build their advantage through the final stanza. Pooler scored three straight buckets to start things off. Lacanilao rolled in two free shots and Ahllamara and Taufaasau netted points on back-to-back possessions. Emma larson had a strong inside score with 3:37 remaining, and Taufaasau's bucket with 118 remaining made it 94-62. The Vaquero's hit a three in the final minute to produce the final 94-65 margin.
Kast added eight rebound and a pair of blocked shots to her totals while Pooler completed the double-double with 10 boards. Quintino totaled nine points, three assists and a game-high 13 caroms. Merriweather pulled in nine rebounds as the Pirates outrebounded the Vaqueros 52-21. All 11 Pirates scored in the game.
VC's 94 point performance on the heels of Wednesday's 95-point output marks the first time since February-March, 2014 that the Pirates have put up back-to-back 90-point outcomes.
Ventura continues Western State Conference play at home on Wednesday Jan. 29, hosting cross-county rival Moorpark College. The Pirates and Raiders will tip-off at 6:00 pm at the Athletic Event Center.