The Glendale Women’s basketball team (5-5) pulled away in the final minutes against the Compton Chargers with hard-nosed defense and clutch free throw shooting in a 60-49 road win Dec. 5, after demolishing East Los Angeles College 101-32 two days prior.
Glendale’s aggressive offense led to 41 free throw attempts compared to a measly 13 by the Chargers. Arpi Babakhanyan led the Vaqueros with 19 points on 11 for 12 shooting from the free throw line, most of them coming at the end of the game, thus sealing the win. Glendale shot 68 percent from the free throw line compared to a dismal 46 percent by the Chargers.
Compton had a 49-48 lead with 3:20 left to play and seemed to have the momentum on their side but they never came close to getting the ball past half court, nevertheless scoring. Glendale took their first lead of the second half with three minutes to play on a soft Babakhanyan bank shot from just outside the key. The Vaqueros then hounded the Cougars, who seemed to be stuck to the floor, into four consecutive turnovers and two rushed shots.
“At the beginning (of the game) we came out a little intimidated,” Head Coach Dyan Miller said. “We took their best shot and were still in the game and realized we could win.”
The ball seemed to be coated with oil with both teams combining for 55 turnovers, most coming in the first half and only 17 assists the entire game. Glendale floor leader Shannon Kegley had 11 turnovers alone, mostly on cross-court passes. Kegley did make many timely shots, including a few runners when the Cougars were making their run; she finished with 14 points and four steals.
The Vaqueros did play strong defense coming up with 18 steals and forcing the Cougars to shoot 33 percent from the floor.
Glendale has had its troubles with 3-point shooting, which has plagued the Vaqueros the entire season. Glendale shot enough bricks to build a new gym, shooting 2-17 from behind the arc.
According to Coach Miller the talk at halftime was positive and the Vaqueros were able to mount a rally late in the second half despite being down most of the game.
The Chargers outplayed Glendale most of the game leading by as much as ten in the game.
Compton took a 30-23 lead into the locker room at the end of the half, but fouled Glendale on what seemed to be every other play. This gave the Vaqueros undefended free points and Glendale made them when they were desperately needed.
The leading scorer for Compton was Tina Thompson, who led all scorer’s with 20 points on 67 percent shooting
The next action for Miller’s squad is the Jaguar Classic today and tomorrow at San Diego.