Merced College showed why they are ranked third in California and second in Northern California on the night of Jan. 23 in Reedley.
Led by sophomores guard Ayaka Nakashima's 28 points, Merced (5-0 in the Central Valley Conference and 19-2 overall, the Blue Devils rolled to a 90-47 victory over the Lady Tigers (2-2,10-9).
Merced jumped out to a quick 10-1 lead on the way to their 14th consecutive victory. Reedley cut the deficit to 10-5 before the Blue Devils scored 13 straight points in a span of just over two and a half minutes.
I'man Conley had eight of her team-high 18 points in the first quarter but was held scoreless in the second period as Merced outscored the Lady Tigers 23-6 to open up a 49-19 halftime lead. Xavia Barlow had seven of her 12 points in the fourth quarter for Reedley.
Nakashima had 16 of Merced's 26 first-quarter points and finished with six 3-pointers.
Reedley will try and break a two-game losing streak as they host Fresno City College at 5 p.m. in the second game of a doubleheader with the Rams. The men's contest begins the action at 3 p.m.
By Will Goldbeck