Forced to play with an extremely short bench due to several early season injuries, the South Puget Sound women’s basketball team is still looking for its first victory of the year.
Despite the setbacks, however, the Clippers have received strong play from sophomores Lainee Grose and Jasmine Griffin and freshman Angelica Francisco as they look to find their footing.
South Puget Sound dropped both its games at the Linn-Benton Classic in late November, losing to Mount Hood (88-39) and host Linn-Benton (74-36). Grose and Griffin both scored in double figures against Mount Hood with Grose scoring 14 points and Griffin adding 11 points to go with a game-high 12 rebounds.
Grose, who is the team leader and ranked 13th in the NWAC in scoring with a 17 points per game average, also paced the Clippers offensively against Linn-Benton, scoring 17 points while playing all 40 minutes. Francisco came off the bench to score nine points.
The Clippers also lost at Clark (77-55) on November 30, getting 20 points from Grose and 17 from Griffin, and at Everett (80-42) on December 3 with Grose scoring 18 points and registering nine rebounds and Griffin scoring 12 points and pulling down eight rebounds.
The Clippers dropped to 0-7 on the season with a 91-56 defeat at Shoreline on December 10. South Puget Sound was within nine points at the intermission against the Dolphins, trailing 37-28, but were outscored 33-7 in a game-deciding third quarter.
Griffin, a graduate of Shelton High School, scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the loss. The sophomore guard went 4 of 6 from 3-point territory and added four steals and two assists.
The Clippers also received 16 points, six assists, four steals and four rebounds from Francisco and 16 points and five rebounds from Grose. The 16 points marked a career-high for Francisco, a freshman from Capital High School who went 6 of 9 from the field against Shoreline.
The Clippers continued their extended season-opening road trip with the College Crossover at Bellevue College December 13-15. South Puget Sound will play Mount Hood and Walla Walla, which is ranked No. 3 in the NWAC Adidas Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll (Week 2), before closing out against host Bellevue.
SPSCC will then head to Skagit Valley Community College in Mount Vernon for the Skagit Valley College Holiday Tournament December 28-30.