ROCKVILLE — Here’s the Solano Community College women’s basketball team’s solution to playoff pressure: Pressure.
Which is an awful lot like regular-season pressure.
Using its full-court, swarming defense to force 15 first-half turnovers, Solano (26-4) never trailed Friday night in rolling to a 73-61 win over Cosumnes River College in the opening round of the Northern California playoffs.
“That’s our normal pressure – it kind of escalates,” SCC coach Matt Borchert said after watching his team force 26 turnovers and allow just 25 field goals. “It was good and we converted on it really well.”
SCC’s Denisha Lundy, who scored 14 points in her first game since being named to the all-state third team, said the pressure helped at the other end of the court, too.
“Our offense is our defense,” she said. “We get our offense off our defense and use our speed.”
That was evident as the Falcons’ up-tempo offense led to plenty of easy baskets. And once they got the lead, they never gave Cosumnes River a whiff of getting back in the game – the Falcons led by double figures for the final 30 minutes, 1 second of the game.
Taylor Hamilton, a second-team all-state selection, led Solano with 15 points. Justice Robinson and Laura Lawson added 10 each for Solano, which won its 18th consecutive game and improved to 12-0 at home on the season. Whether the seventh-seeded Falcons get another shot in their own gym depends largely on Laney College of Oakland pulling an upset of second-seeded Fresno City College on Saturday. The Falcons play the winner of that game on Wednesday – and the higher-seed hosts.
On Friday, Solano jumped to an 11-2 lead and stretched it out as big as 13 points before leading by 10 at the half.
“It just was a little different,” Lundy said of the playoff atmosphere. “We still have to do all the same things. But the crowd is a little louder and there’s more energy.”
Cosumnes River was led by all-state forward Janie Myles, who had 31 points and 20 rebounds – but 22 points and 14 rebounds came in the second half, when the game was out of reach.
“Our plan was to double-team her,” Lundy said. “She is going to get her points, but we wanted to limit her.”
Thanks to the pressure defense, they limited Cosumnes and won the game.
Reach Brad Stanhope at 427-6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bradstanhope.