SANTA ANA, Calif. - It was a huge night for Santa Ana Women's Basketball as the Dons (7-12, 2-3) pulled off a remarkable upset to hand the No. 2 ranked Orange Coast Pirates (20-1, 4-1) their first loss of the season.
The Dons showed they were ready to play from the tip; executing their game plan to open the game with an 8-0 run and forcing an OCC timeout at the 6:54 mark.
Orange Coast eventually got on the board and closed the gap as they finished the quarter on a 10-5 run.
In the second, the Pirates seemed to find their rhythm as they shot 47.1 percent in the quarter to score 17 points. But the Dons continued to hold their own, putting up 13 to enter the break with the score tied at 27-27.
Orange Coast managed to put together another nice quarter follwoing haltime as they benefited from seven made free throws and scored another 17 points to take a 44-41 lead into the final period.
In spite of conceding the lead, the Dons kept their confidence and threw some haymakers while locking down defensively in the fourth. SAC went on 14-2 run capped by a layup from Sarah Henry to make it a 56-47 game with 1:38 remaining.
The Pirates still made it close after hitting two late threes and drawing fouls on three point attempts, cutting the lead to three (64-61) with just three seconds left.
But the Dons finished strong as Selena Hernandez buried her last two free throws to put the nail in the coffin, cementing the 66-61 win over the Pirates.
Hernandez led SAC in scoring with 20 points, including four threes while grabbing three rebounds. Brianna Urena had another impact game as the freshman posted 16 points with eight rebounds and four assists. Sophia Escalante was the third Don in double-digits with 12 points to go with five boards and three assists.
Le'Lani Bell added a much needed boost offensively as the sophomore guard went 3-for3 from the field for six points while grabbing five rebounds and a steal. Crystal Moreno also contributed with five points of her own.
Another aspect that led to Santa Ana's big night was the play of Kendrah Lopez and Sarah Henry off the bench. The two only combined for seven points but were impactful with eight rebounds and five assists in a combined total of 36 minutes.
The Dons earned their second consecutive win and look like a completely different team from the first half of the season. Next up, Santa Ana will travel to Huntington Beach to match up against a hungry Golden West (0-5, 12-8) team on Wednesday, January 25th at 5:00 p.m.