Sierra Cavaletto knocked down an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer on Friday night to carry SBCC over Taft 69-68 in its women's basketball opener at the Sports Pavilion.
Tatiana Ong made one of her four steals to get the Vaqueros the ball, trailing by one with seconds to play in Game 2 of the SBCC Crossover. Lei Talaro assisted on Cavaletto's game-winning bucket. The Vaqueros trailed
Sophomore guard Meagan Moore, one of eight returning players, led the Vaqueros with 19 points and seven rebounds. Lauren Noggle was 6-7 from the field and scored 14 points with seven boards.
Aaliyah Pauling added five points and seven assists for the Vaqueros, who enjoyed their biggest lead at 33-21 on two free throws by Moore with 4:21 to go before halftime. SBCC led 37-29 at intermission, then got outscored 25-16 in the third period to trail by one (44-43) going into the fourth.
Ong, a 5-7 freshman from Clovis, was outstanding off the bench, scoring eight points, grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds and making four steals in 19 minutes.
The Vaqueros outrebounded the Cougars 51-36 and shot 38.7% compared to 35.3% for the visitors. SBCC hit 17-of-24 from the free-throw line and Taft struggled at 47.4% (18-38).
Santa Barbara will take on Butte on Saturday at 3 p.m., following a 1 p.m. game between Taft and L.A. Southwest.