Biba Kirschner scored a team-high 17 points to lead the Cuesta College women’s basketball team during a 93-55 defeat against Citrus College on Wednesday afternoon in the consolation final at the Grossmont College Tournament.
Kendra Losa added 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting, and Autumn Russell finished the game with 11 points and eight rebounds to lead the Cougars. Already shorthanded, Cuesta (5-11) lost 13-game starter Connor Storlie eight minutes into the game when the freshman guard injured her knee and did not return.
Head coach Ron Barba said Storlie collided with a Citrus player while attempting a shot. Storlie, who is averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season, was called for an offensive foul, and the Cougars never fully recovered the rest of the way.
“It just changed the whole complexion really quick,” Barba said, noting the inconsistent officiating throughout the lopsided loss.
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Janae Chamois and Joy Adlao scored 18 points apiece for the Owls (7-6), and Tiffany Villaruz chipped in 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting. An opportunistic Citrus team took advantage of 34 Cuesta turnovers, scoring 35 points off those miscues.
Injuries have plagued the Cougars throughout a trying nonconference season. Leading scorer Boomie Pierre has played in seven of the team’s 16 games, and Maci Branstetter suffered a season-ending injury against Victor Valley on Dec. 3.
Since that victory at home against Victor Valley, Cuesta has lost eight of nine games heading into the start of Western State Conference play Jan. 6 at Ventura.