Taft College loses 67-40 to Allan Hancock College

A frigid first half doomed the Taft College women’s basketball team in the Cougars’ home opener Tuesday night.

The result was a 67-40 loss to visiting Allan Hancock College that still has the Cougars looking for their first win after two losses.

They will try to make that happen this weekend when they travel to Pasadena for an eight-team tournament.

Against Hancock, the Cougars seemed in disarray in the first half as the Bulldogs jumped out to an 11-0 lead and cruised to a 40-21 halftime bulge.

A few words from head coach Tyrone Taylor provided a little spark.

“We were so sluggish in the first half so I told them we’ve got to give more effort, play with more intensity,” he said.  “I told them we need to play better as a team.  In the second half we definitely played better as a team.”

They responded with a quick three-pointer from freshman center Emilee Davidson, but that was wiped out by Hancock’s Alexandria Rodriguez, who popped in two of her own to push the lead to 22. 

TC kept battling and cut the lead to 17 (50-33) with 14:38 left in the game, which was as close as the Cougars could get.

That was due mostly to Rodriguez, who scored more than half of Hancock’s points.

The 5-foot-5 freshman guard scored 36 points on 11 field goals – five of them three-pointers – and a perfect 9-for-9 at the free-throw line.  She outscored the entire Cougar team in the first half with 22 points.

“We just didn’t have an answer for her,” Taylor said.

It was the second time that TC was unable to overcome a frigid first half.  They did the same thing in the season opener a week ago – a 55-53 loss to Victor Valley College in Victorville.

“We just can’t seem to get off to a good start, and that killed us in the first two games,” Taylor said.

Davidson was the only Cougar in double figures.

She scored 10 points, 6 rebounds and blocked a shot.

Ramonique Redding scored 8 points, 6 rebounds and an assist, Kennedy Kunce 8 points and 3 rebounds, Mylasia Smith 7 points and 3 rebounds, Themia Cook 7 points, 2 rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot, Angie Banks 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.

Also, Sinclair Lucas pulled down 4 rebounds and scored a point and Crystallyn Faletoi a point and a rebound.

The Cougars open the Rose City Classic in Pasadena against El Camino.

It’s the first of four consecutive three-day tournaments before TC plays at home again.  That will happen on Jan. 4 when Bakersfield comes to town.