BIG 8 WIN WITH ROOM TO GROW

DVC women's basketball coach Ramaundo Vaughn wasn't in the mood for celebrating after a gritty 74-65 win over San Joaquin Delta to open the Big 8 Conference season Tuesday night at Vikings Gymnasium.
The Vikings' Kelea Pickeral-Dennis had a monster game with 25 points and 18 rebounds, but Vaughn felt the team effort had too many rough edges for a top-flight program.
"I think sometimes we just are not intense," Vaughn said after seeing his team squander a 15-point lead in the second half before seeing out the win. "I don't think we bring the right intensity."
The athletic Vikings (14-3, 1-0) effectively avenged a 64-55 loss to Delta in the championship game of the San Jose City Tournament last week.
But Vaughn said the Vikings, who have won nine of their past 10, need to have more confidence on defense, individually and collectively. The Vikings held the Mustangs (13-4, 0-1) 10 points under their average, but Delta held DVC eight points under its average.
After Delta rallied to tie the game 64-64 with 2:10 remaining, the Vikings put it away with an 11-1 run. A tough basket by Pickeral-Dennis with 1:51 left put them ahead to stay. Doris Jones (11 points) had a nice look inside on the next basket. Yasin (16 points) helped salt it away with three late free throws.
Conference games tend to take on lives of their own, and this game was no exception.
"One, were very happy with the Big 8 victory, but it was way below the standard we want to play at," Vaughn added. "We won't beat Sierra (14-1, 1-0) playing like that."

 -- Matt Schwab

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