GLENDALE — The Glendale Community College women's basketball team's loss to Citrus at home on Saturday can be easily surmised.
The Vaqueros left too many easy points on the court.
“I think the biggest thing offensively, we missed a lot of layups and free throws,” said Glendale Coach Carrie Miller shortly after her squad relinquished a nine-point lead in losing to the Owls, 71-63. “That hurt us tonight.”
Glendale fell to 10-8 overall and 1-1 in the Western State Conference South Division. Citrus improved to 11-5, 2-0.
The Vaqueros had a shooting night they'd like to forget. The team shot just 32 percent from the field and just under 49 percent — 13 for 29 — from the foul line.
Defensively, Glendale played aggressively en route to logging 13 steals and forcing 25 Citrus turnovers. However, that defensive aggression led to early foul trouble. The Owls capitalized by making 23 of 33 free throw attempts.
“We've just got to be smarter defensively,” Miller said. “It hurts us.”
Tied, 30-30, at the break, Glendale came out strong in the second half. Including a pair of baskets from Samantha Pyros, the Vaqueros went up, 36-30, only 90 seconds into the frame. Gabriela Beltran helped to extended that lead to 43-34 after a bucket with 14 minutes remaining.
From there, Glendale's offense disappeared. Over the next seven minutes, the Owls went on a 22-3 run to take a 56-46 advantage.
“Offensively, we couldn't make a basket,” said Glendale's Elsie Mejia, who led her team with 14 points to go with four steals and three assists. “We went dry. We couldn't buy a free throw or a layup.”
The Vaqueros clawed to within three at 66-63, but would get no closer.
Pyros finished with 11 points and eight rebounds and Beltran had 11 points, seven boards, three assists and three steals. Selin Gomez added 11 points and three steals for the home team.
Taylor Jackson led Citrus with 27 points, five rebounds and three assists. She was also 12 for 17 from the foul line. The 6-foot-2-inch Jaelyn Wilson added 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Mejia sees Glendale's adjustments to getting back on the winning side of things as fundamental.
“We just have to make our free throws and our layups,” Meia said. “We should be good for the rest of the season. Just a bump in the road.”
Glendale is at Santa Monica College on Wednesday. The Vaqueros’ next home game is Jan. 22 against Bakersfield. Both games start at 5 p.m.