By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College women's basketball team (1-0) defeated the visiting Moorpark Raiders (0-1) 72-69 in their home opener on Friday night. The Chargers entered the game ranked No. 7 in Southern California according to the CCCWBCA Preseason Poll.
Sophomore guard Alyssa Movchan led the Chargers with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting, while adding 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists. Despite struggling with her shot, Dominique Culhno (2-of-12) paced the offense on her way to a double-double, tallying 13 points and 11 assists. Culhno finished 9-of-14 at the foul line.
Moorpark's Sydney Arikawa led all scorers with 20 points off the bench. Arikawa shot 6-of-11 from the field and 5-of-9 from long range.
The Chargers set the pace early with their relentless full court pressure, forcing the Raiders into19 first half turnovers. Despite the turnover margin, the Raiders were able to hang around as the Chargers struggled to find their rhythm on offense. Cypress took a 28-21 lead into halftime while shooting only 27.8% from the floor.
Cypress continued forcing Moorpark turnovers in the second half, but the Raiders three-point shooting kept them within striking distance. A three-pointer from Movchan gave the Chargers their largest lead of the game with 5:48 remaining (63-51) in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders answered with an 8-0 run of their own after back-to-back threes from Arikawa, followed by a layup from Vanessa Desimone (12PTS, 7REB, 3STL) forcing a Cypress timeout. Cypress sophomore Sylvia Garcia (10PTS, 7REB, 3STL) gave the Chargers a 65-59 lead with a baseline jumper out of the timeout. The Raiders continued to let it fly from three-point range as Desimone and Arikawa each knocked down another triple to make it a 1 point game with 1:53 remaining.
Cypress was able to knockdown huge free throws down the stretch and escaped with a 72-69 victory on their home floor. Women's Basketball will return to action on Thursday, November 5 as they compete in the Merced Tournament.
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