Cal State women survive, 47-45

It wasn’t pretty but the Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball team improved to 4-0, beating visiting Monterey Bay 47-45 Friday in a CCAA opener at Coussoulis Arena.

The Coyotes blew an 18-point lead in the last 10 minutes of the contest. They were up comfortably 40-22 with 12:25 left but only managed seven points the rest of the game.

A bucket by the Otters Dana Andrews cut the deficit to 45-43 with 1:37 to go. The visitors had the ball back with a chance to tie, thanks to a steal by Alma Lopez with 48 seconds remaining. Monterey (0-3, 0-1)  got closer on a free throw by Andrews, inching to within one 45-44.

The Coyotes (4-0, 1-0) got some breathing room on two free throws by Stephanie Barnes, making it 47-44. Andrews was fouled on a 3-point try with 11 seconds left but missed two of the three. The Coyotes Ashlee Ford then came up with the loose ball to end the game.

The Coyotes shot just 32.2 percent (19-for-59) from the field with senior Vanessa Wilt leading the way as usual. She had 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks before fouling out with 4:51 left. The only other Coyote player in double figures was junior forward Rachel Johnson, who had 12 points, all in the first half. He points came on four 3-pointers.

Ford, a sophomore point guard, also had a solid game with five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

The Otters got 18 points, 10 rebounds and a steal from Dana Andrews. The game also marked the return of 6-foot-1 junior Ja’Nae Westmoreland, who spent the last two years at San Bernardino Valley College. She tallied seven points,, five rebounds, three steals and a block.

Monterey has two other local players on its roster – Zulema Barajas, out of Alta Loma High and SBVC, and Mikeshaya Edwards, out of Eisnhower and Riverside Community College. Both are struggling with injuries and did not play.