No team in the Northwest Athletic Conference has had a more unfavorable slate to open the 2019-2020 women’s basketball schedule than South Puget Sound Community College as the Clippers have played their first 13 games on the road.
South Puget Sound, however, will finally get to enjoy its regular season home opener on January 8 when it hosts – albeit at The Evergreen State College – Tacoma Community College.
The game, which will have a 6:00 p.m. tipoff, marks the West Region division opener for both squads and the first of seven games at Evergreen this season for the Clippers, who will play their entire home schedule this year at the venue due to the construction of the health and wellness center on the SPSCC campus.
South Puget Sound’s home game against Tacoma will also feature a halftime performance by the Shelton PIP (Players in Progress), which is a basketball performance group made up of kindergarten through sixth graders who specialize in basketball skills, drills and tricks.
This marks the first of two games between the Clippers and the Titans. The two teams will play a second time during the regular season in Tacoma on February 5.
South Puget Sound and Tacoma split their two regular season meetings last year with each team winning on the other’s home court.
The Clippers defeated the Titans, 62-45, on Jan. 26, 2019 after getting a huge offensive lift from its bench with reserves Devyn Holden ad Keilani Brown scoring 18 and 12 points, respectively. Tacoma won the second game last season, outscoring South Puget Sound by 7 points in the fourth to claim a 56-53 road win.
Since 2009, the Clippers hold a 13-9 series lead over Tacoma with South Puget Sound sweeping the season series four times (2009, 2010, 2015 and 2016).
Due to injuries, the Clippers opened this year short-handed and were forced to rely on a six-player rotation for its first six games of the season.
According to head coach Mike Moore, however, the team’s roster will be getting a boost once the New Year starts.
“We (added) a walk on, Janisha Santos, who gives us some depth defensively. We are also adding SPSCC volleyball player and Shelton graduate Paige Johnson to our depth at the post position,” Moore said. “Finally, we will be adding Amiya Lattomus from Arbor View High School in Las Vegas. She will be a presence on the defense and gives us some more physicality on both ends. We’re looking forward to having them be a part of the Clipper family and will be working hard to fight for a playoff position come league play in January.”
The Clippers close out the regular season on the road against Centralia. The top four teams out of the West Region advance to the NWAC tournament.
Four South Puget Sound players – Tracy Abesamis, Hannah Gifford, Jasmine Griffin and Lainee Grose – have played in every game this season for the Clippers with both Gifford and Griffin averaging 39 minutes a contest and Grose averaging nearly 37 minutes a game.
Through the first 10 games, Grose paces the team offensively, averaging 16.1 points a game, while Griffin averages 13 points and 8 rebounds a game.
The Clippers will also play home dates at The Evergreen State College on Saturday, January 18, against Pierce College; Wednesday, January 29, against Centralia College; Saturday, February 8, against Green River College; Wednesday, February 12, against Lower Columbia College; Wednesday, February 19, against Highline College; and Saturday, February 22, against Grays Harbor College.
South Puget Sound’s new Health and Wellness Center is schedule to be open in May.