The Irvine Valley women's basketball team took the lead from the start and then held off Riverside in the second half in a 77-53 Orange Empire Conference victory at home on Wednesday night.
The game matched two of the top teams in the conference.
Irvine Valley, ranked No. 8 in the state, won its ninth straight game and improved its record to 18-3 overall.
Even more importantly, the Lasers remained unbeaten and at the top of the conference standings at 7-0.
Riverside's record slipped to 14-7 overall and 5-2 in conference. The Tigers came into the game in a tie for second place in conference with Cypress.
Irvine Valley raced out to a 21-13 lead at the end of the first quarter and used a 24-point second quarter to go into the halftime break with a commanding 45-27 advantage.
But Riverside didn't go away. The Tigers climbed back in the game in the third quarter, out-scoring IVC, 20-13.
Irvine Valley led, 58-47, heading into the final period.
But sophomore Kasey Smit, who had another monster game for IVC, made a jumper with 8:21 left to put the Lasers ahead, 60-47, freshman guard Cydnie Danan nailed a three-pointer with 7:10 to go and Smit made a layup to put the game out of reach at 65-47.
IVC held Riverside scoreless for the opening 3:38 of the fourth quarter.
The Lasers ended up out-scoring Riverside, 19-6, in the final period.
Smit had a big night with 30 points and 20 rebounds (17 on the defensive end). It the first time she has gone 30-20 in a game for IVC and it was the second time in the last three games that she has scored at least 30 points in a contest.
Irvine Valley out-rebounded Riverside, 58-40, in the game.
Danan added 15 points, six rebounds and eight assists and sophomore guard Elizabeth Garcia chipped in 12 points and three assists. Sophomore forward Kiara Warren contributed six points and four rebounds and freshman guard Lexi Vail dished out seven assists for IVC.
Riverside was paced by Kimari Hollis, who had 17 points, six assists and five steals, Dejah Wright had 14 points and Dayna Dewitt finished with 12 rebounds for RCC.
The Tigers shot just 30.8 percent (20 of 65) from the field in the game and hurt themselves at the free throw line, making just 8 of 21 attempts.
Irvine Valley will start the second round of conference play on Friday when it travels to Saddleback for a 5 p.m. game.