Pirates fall to Long Beach in Coast Christmas Classic opener

Pirates fall to Long Beach in Coast Christmas Classic opener

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's basketball team put up a strong push in the second half, but fell to visiting Long Beach City College, 62-50, on Day 1 of the 2018 Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic.

Jalisa Simons had 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Raylynn Denson added 11 points and 11 boards for the Pirates (0-7), who struggled from the floor, shooting 26.1 percent for the game (18-of-69).

Kaylin Brown had 18 points for the Vikings (5-6), while Jaseemah Martinez added 15 points and nine rebounds.

After trailing 36-22 at the half, Coast used an 18-5 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter to pull to within a point at 41-40. Three-pointers by Denson and Vicky Diep over that span helped spark the comeback, but Long Beach regained its composure and scored the final eight points of the third to lead 49-40.

Coast again made a comeback attempt early in the fourth quarter as a 3-pointer by Monet Oncu pulled the Pirates to within four of the Vikings at 51-47, but that would be as close as OCC would get the rest of the night.

With the win, Long Beach will take on El Camino in the second of two championship semifinal games, beginning at 7 p.m. The Pirates will fall to the consolation semifinals, where they will host Chaffey at 3 p.m. Other matchups on Day 2 will include Saddleback vs. Cerritos (1 p.m.) and Palomar vs. Irvine Valley (5 p.m.).