The Cuesta College women’s basketball team rallied from a late deficit to beat L.A. Pierce 61-54 in the Western State Conference home opener for the Cougars on Saturday.
The Brahmas had a 51-47 lead with 7:29 remaining, but the Cougars went on a 9-0 run over the final 2:44 to pull out the win.
“The good news is I saw a little life in them when we got down,” Cuesta coach Ron Barba said.
Templeton High grad Autumn Russell had a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds for Cuesta (6-12, 1-1), which had only six players available because of injuries and eligibility problems.
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L.A. Pierce had only seven players available. Barba said the new eligibility rules are hitting lots of teams hard.
“It’s really affecting a lot of people, I believe,” he said. “When you throw in new rules at the semester, it can wipe out teams that only have eight kids to begin with.”
The Cougars finished with a shooting percentage under 30 percent again, but went 18 of 29 from the free-throw line.
“I thought that was the difference in the game, that we got to the line,” Barba said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot well again. I feel like we are getting good shots, we just aren’t putting them in. I tell the girls you gotta keep shooting to win.”
The Cougars head to Santa Barbara City College for a 5 p.m. game Wednesday.