Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team holds off Riverside in overtime

Courtesy of Toni Lovacot
Courtesy of Toni Lovacot

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team out-scored Riverside, 10-4, in overtime and earned an important 82-76 Orange Empire Conference victory on Friday night at home.

The Lasers, ranked No. 6 in the state, improved their record to 16-3 overall and 3-0 in conference play.

IVC remained one of two undefeated teams in conference. The Lasers play that other undefeated team, Cypress, next Wednesday at Cypress at 5 p.m.

The Lasers trailed by as many as nine points in the second half and were down, 65-60, with 3:56 left after a basket by Riverside's Tori Mitchell.

But IVC then went on a 12-2 run. Sophomore center Breanna Turner, who was in foul trouble most of the night, started the run with a three-point play.

A layup by sophomore forward Conerie Brennan got IVC within 67-65 with 2:53 left and then a three-pointer by freshman guard Erika Mercado put the Lasers ahead, 68-67, with 2:14 to play.

Mercado closed out the run with two free throws to make it 72-67 with 1:02 left.

But Riverside ended regulation with the final five points to tie it up. Tierra Fuqua made a three-pointer with 55 seconds left and then after a turnover by IVC, Jordan Lofton made a layup with three seconds remaining to tie the score, 72-72.

IVC scored the first points of overtime and never looked back.

Freshman guard Jordan Coleman sank a three-pointer to give IVC a 75-72 lead with 2:56 left in overtime. Turner then made a free throw to make it 76-72.

A three-pointer by Tamara Herring pulled Riverside to within 76-75 with 1:11 left.

Turner knocked down another free throw to make it a 77-75 game.

A free throw by Riverside's Lofton made it 77-76 with 34 seconds to play in overtime.

But Irvine Valley made 5 of 8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Coleman, who was also in foul trouble for the Lasers, led IVC with 22 points, nine rebounds and two assists.

Mercado came off the bench with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Turner, who played just 22 minutes, finished with 11 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

Freshman guard Tara Casey and sophomore guard Karli Kato each chipped in nine points. Casey also had four rebounds and four assists for Irvine Valley.

Irvine Valley shot 45.6 percent from the field as a team, but was hurt by making just 19 of 33 free throws (57.6 percent).

IVC did out-rebound Riverside, 49-37.

Riverside, whose record fell to 13-7 overall and 2-2 in conference, got 21 points and 13 rebounds from Mitchell, 18 points and seven rebounds from Herring and 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists and five steals from Fuqua.

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