The article below originally appeared on The Reporter and is being reprinted with permission.
A 16-point early second-half lead was too much for College of San Mateo to overcome in a hard-fought battle with visiting Reedley College in the opening round of the Tom Martinez CSM Women’s Basketball Invitational. The Tigers held on for a 70-63 win to move into today’s 7 p.m. semifinal game with Merritt.
CSM (2-6) will play Butte (3-7) in the consolation semifinals at 3 p.m.
San Mateo closed to within five points several times down the stretch, including 68-63 with 1:22 left. But the Bulldogs failed to score again.
Following four first-half lead changes and a pair of ties, Reedley (8-6) extended a 29-28 lead with four straight baskets to go up 37-28 at the half. The Tigers, led by Keana Kaohimaunu, continued a 17-2 run to hold a 46-30 margin with 18 minutes left in the game. Kaohimaunu led Reedley with 17 points.
McKenna Hilton led San Mateo, as usual, with 18 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in the second half. Lianne WhiPple had 12 points. Mia Maffei and Julianne Llacer scored 11 apiece.
It was the first home court loss for the Bulldogs this season following five straight setbacks away from home.
The three earlier tourney opening games all saw the winners hit in the 70’s and the losers in the 40’s:
Merritt got 28 points from guard Gabby Gaines to defeat Butte 75-48.
Contra Costa (2-6) ended a six-game losing streak with a 76-45 win over winless Hartnell.
Santa Monica (5-4) beat Shasta 71-46, led by Briah Nelson with 17 points.
Santa Monica and Contra Costa meet in today’s 5 p.m. semifinal.
Hartnell (0-11) and Shasta (6-6) play in today’s opening 1 p.m. consolation semifinal.