By Greg Avetisyan |Staff Writer|
5.6 seconds were all that stood between the girls basketball team and victory in their season opener against California Baptist University on Saturday Nov. 9.
The game was extremely close throughout the night, resulting in fans hanging on the edge of their seat all the way till the final minutes.
After the Coyotes last stole the ball, senior guard Tayllor Gipson was fouled with just over five seconds remaining.
Gibson went to the free throw line and knocked down both of the free throws, giving the Coyotes a lead.
Seconds later, the Lancer’s freshman guard Erin Asher made a desperate shot at the buzzer to derail the Coyotes.
The final score was 65-64, giving the Lancers their first win of the season.
“Everyone was getting ready to leave and then Erin just threw up a crazy shot and it went in. After that we all started to just go crazy in the stands,” CBU freshman Caleb Randolph said after the game.
The loss is a tough one to swallow for the Coyotes, however the team is motivated to keep going forward. “We really came together as a team and worked hard at practice to try and move forward. A tough loss like the last one hurts but we will get past it and improve,” sophomore guard Jenna Klein said.
After trailing by five points at halftime, the Coyotes rallied back in the second half. Even though the Coyotes struggled shooting from the field, they made up for it at the free throw line making 27-33 free throws.
The Coyote’s best came in the second half when they were able to drive to the paint and draw fouls.
Four of the Coyote’s starters finished scoring in double figures, Gipson leading the way with 17 points followed by sophomore guard Alexcia Mack with 14.
Mack will be finish playing for the Coyotes at the end this season.
During the game, she led the team in the first few minutes and has the lead for free-throw percentage.
Mack was the Coyotes highest scoring freshmen since Krystal Uruza in the 2006-2007 season.
The Coyotes this year have six senior players and only two freshman as they look to continue their success from recent years, “We ultimately want to make it to the NCAA tournament and be as successful as possible,” said Klein.
Coyotes head coach Renee Jimenez made her coaching debut at the helm against CBU. Her team looks to bounce back after the heartbreaking loss.
Jimenez spent the last five years as head coach at Cal State Monterey Bay University.
She led her teams to the last three NCAA Tournaments.
Jimenez has always preached consistency and her team’s ability to close out close games.
“Our focus is the next game as we take it one game at a time this season,” said junior guard Megan Blackwell.
The players are excited to be back in the basketball season and are looking forward to the rest of the season.
The Coyotes will continue their season on the road Tuesday Nov. 26 against the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.