Women's Basketball: Comets hammer Pirates

Ex-OCC player, assistant Marshall guides Palomar to lopsided win that leaves Thornton miffed.

December 20, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

It's difficult to call it a silver lining, but in the aftermath of one of his Orange Coast College women's basketball team's worst performances in his 25 seasons, Coach Mike Thornton's first postgame task was delivering praise.

"He told me how well-coached we are and how much energy we have and how he loves how hard our kids play," said Palomar coach and former OCC player and assistant coach Leigh Marshall, whose Comets dropped an 85-47 drubbing on the Pirates in the consolation semifinals of the Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic on Thursday at OCC.

"I'm proud of what Leigh has done with that program and with that team," said Thornton, whose squad was outdone in every category, including those not on the stat sheet. "They are a blue-collar team that came into the game 3-8 and had had a lot of bad things happen to them. But you would never know that by watching them warm up and watching them play and how they play together and how enthusiastic they are."


The Comets sprinted, slashed, shuffled, pressed, jumped and dived to get the better of OCC on nearly every possession. OCC has not given up more than 85 points since March 12, 1998 in an 87-79 loss to DeAnza, a span of 494 games.

And it has been 559 games — since a 98-59 trouncing by Ventura on Nov. 16, 1996 — that OCC lost by a wider margin.

The Pirates (8-5), who have now lost three straight, were one point off their season-low scoring total, had a season-worst 30 turnovers and shot just 27.9% from the field (17 for 61), barely better than their season-worst 27.5% two games previous against Sierra.

OCC lost the rebounding battle, 54-43, made just 11 of 21 foul shots (52.4%) and surrendered 18 layups, including five put-backs off of Palomar's 23 offensive rebounds.

Freshman Jasmine Matar led the Pirates with 11 points and shared the rebounding lead (five) with Chanelle DiCroce, who had 10 points. But Matar committed 10 turnovers.

Thornton said DiCroce, a sophomore transfer from Midland College in Texas, competed well under the circumstances, and he also praised the effort of sophomore Raechelle Davis, who had 10 points and four rebounds before fouling out in 12 minutes.

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