COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College women's basketball team hung tough with Cerritos College, but the Falcons had enough firepower to hand the Pirates a 63-52 loss on Friday night inside the Peterson Gym.
It was a strong effort for the shorthanded Pirates in their home opener after 12 games on the road to start the season, but the hot hand of Cerritos' Melanie Lopez (18 points on 6-of-10 shooting on 3-pointers) was too much for OCC to overcome.
Gracelynn Figueroa did her best to keep the Pirates close, leading OCC with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, while Lea Adame added 12 points and Anna Hollister and Violet Cisneros each chipped in 10.
Both teams battled back and forth through most of the first half, with Cerritos carrying a 31-26 lead into halftime.
Lopez' sixth and final trey of the game came three minutes into the fourth quarter and gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the game at 45-34 and from there, Cerritos kept the Pirates at bay for the rest of the game. Nicole Lizarraga added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Falcons.
OCC will kick off Orange Empire Conference play on Wednesday at Fullerton College, beginning at 6 p.m. before returning home to play Cypress on Friday, beginning at 5 p.m.