UC MERCED – The University of California, Merced women’s basketball team sent their four graduating seniors out with style Saturday night as they cruised past visiting La Sierra University 74-60.
Not only was it a great way to send off their four graduating players, but it was also a massive victory in the conference standings, as UC Merced remains undefeated in the Cal Pac Conference and tightens their grip on the number one seed.
UC Merced basketball’s all-time leading scorer Shelby Howard wrapped up her home career by scoring 20 points on 6-12 shooting. She also added to her all-time record of made threes by tacking on three more in the victory. Freshman Mia Shannon came off the bench to score 18 points and pull down eight rebounds.
The Bobcats’ offense was impressive in the win, shooting 47% from the floor, but it was the defense that locked up the victory early on. UC Merced held La Sierra to single-digits points in both the first and second quarters, and held a commanding 37-17 lead at halftime. At one point they held a 21-point advantage.
UC Merced scored another 37 points in the second half. Although they allowed 43 points from La Sierra in the second half, the final 20 minutes was more about celebrating four standout careers.
Along with Howard, the Bobcat faithful bid farewell to Jecenia Trinidad, who finished with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals, as well as Kayla Polman and Samantha Oshiro.
Although the Bobcats’ home season is now over, there is still plenty left on the team’s docket. They now head to Simpson University, Pacific Union College, and California Maritime Academy to finish up the regular season. Their matchup with Simpson is Thursday night at 5:30 PM.