SANTA ANA - In their first playoff game since 2008, the Dons defeated Cerritos College 78-71 to advance to the second round of the California Community College Athletic Association Women's Basketball Southern Regional Championships.
With the win, the Dons (15-14) now advance to play at #1 Ventura College on Saturday.
The Dons, who led by as many as 21 points in the second half, had to hold off a late Cerritos (16-12) rally to earn the victory. Among the keys to SAC's success tonight was Ashley Whisler who scored 35 points, including 16-of-16 from the free throw line.
The late Cerritos rally came after Whisler put the Dons up 21 at 57-36 with a three-pointer with 9:37 remaining in the half. From there, the Dons continued to hold a double digit lead until the 3:33 mark when Cerritos pulled within eight points.
After Cerritos cut the lead to five points in the final minute, the Dons were able to secure the victory as they went 7-of-9 from the free throw line to close out the game.
Jazmine Johnson followed Whisler in scoring with 18 points while Alexus Lopez added 10 points. Kelly Smit finished with an impressive line as she scored six points while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists.