#20 Women's Basketball Closes Regular Season By Fending Off CCRI

Sophomore guard Shaquita Smith (Photo: Rob Cole)
Sophomore guard Shaquita Smith (Photo: Rob Cole)

WARWICK, RI --- Sophomore guard Shaquita Smith scored 13 of her team-high 20 points in the second half and the #20 ASA Women's Basketball team tied a program record with a 74-68 victory over CCRI in the Lady Avengers' regular season finale on Saturday afternoon.

The win improves ASA's record to 22-3, matching its record for victories in a season set just last year when the 2011-12 finished with a 22-5 mark.

Overall, Smith shot 8-for-20 from them field - including a pair of three-pointers - and added seven rebounds and seven assists for the Lady Avengers, who remain undefeated in the series' history (7-0).

Freshman guard Erica Juarbe had a career game in support of Smith's effort, scoring a career-high 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting and chipping in eight rebounds.

After falling behind briefly in the first minute of the contest, 2-3, ASA rattled off a 21-8 run to take its largest lead of the half, 23-11, with 8:50 remaining in the period. The Lady Knights would get as close as five (25-20) but the Lady Avengers would take a 34-26 lead into halftime.

Throughout the second half, ASA continued to hold off all attempts at a CCRI, scoring timely basket after timely basket whenever the Lady Knights - who were celebrating their Sophomore Night and Play4Kay/Breast Cancer Awareness game - seemed poised to make a rally.

Sophomore forward Tiffany Jones added to her double double efforts, putting in 12 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

The most glaring difference in the game was ASA's height and athleticism. ASA nearly outrebounded CCR by twice as much (53-29) and scored over half their points in the paint in outscoring the Lady Knights in close, 38-16. Jones and sophomore forward Sashana Bucknor matched CCRI's rebound total by themselves.

ASA now heads into the District C playoffs - to be played March 7-9 at Harford Community College - riding a program-record 12-game winning streak and holding regular season wins over its District opponents Harford and Monroe Community College. ASA will play Monroe CC on the 7th and, with a win, will sit a Harford victory away from its first appearance in the NJCAA Women's National Championship.