Lady Bobcats sink Cal State Maritime in Cal-Pac Conference Opener, 72-41

 (By UC Merced Athletics) Mia Belvin scored a game-high 22 points, while Mia Shannon poured in a career-high 19 points and the UC Merced women’s basketball team opened up California Pacific Conference play with a 72-41 victory Saturday night against Cal Maritime.

The 42 points allowed were the fewest the Bobcats (5-6, 1-0) have given up all season and fewest since January 6, 2016 against Pacific Union.

UC Merced’s strong defense was anchored by the backcourt of Belvin and Deja Jackson, who combined for nine of the Bobcats’ 15 steals and forced the opponent into 27 turnovers overall.

Seven Bobcats had at least one steal, including Christina Castro who is now four steals away from becoming the all-time steals leader in program history.

The Bobcats were also stellar on the glass and outrebounded the Keelhaulers 47-31. Shannon, who notched her first double-double of the season, hauled in eleven and freshman Maya Lawrence grabbed a career-high ten rebounds.

UC Merced never trailed and led by double-digits approximately eight minutes into the game. That advantage would grow to as many as 14 points in the second quarter and the Bobcats took a 34-21 lead into the locker room.

Out of the break, the opponent cut it to eight points but UC Merced responded with a 31-12 run to end the game and earn their fourth 20-point win of the season. The 29 point victory is also the largest margin since February 16, 2017 against Pacific Union College.

The Bobcats shot 38 percent (29-76) from the floor and assisted on 17 buckets. Besides Belvin and Shannon, Jackson scored in double-figures (10) for the second straight game and fourth to open up her junior campaign.

Other notables include nine points and nine rebounds from Kylee Scheiband five assists from Zakiya Williams.

Looking ahead, UC Merced hits the road to take on University of Saint Katherine in a non-conference matchup on Monday, December 18 at 12:00pm.

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