Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team captures OEC title with wild win

Women's basketball team captures OEC title with wild win

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team earned a share of the Orange Empire Conference title with a wild 82-79 overtime win at Riverside on Thursday night.

The game finished off the regular season for the Lasers, who improved their record to 24-4 overall and 13-1 in conference.

IVC, ranked 11th in the state, shared the conference title with Cypress.

Sophomore Kasey Smit had her best game of the season on Thursday and IVC needed all of her effort to get the victory.

She finished 39 points and 23 rebounds in the contest. It was the third game this season for Smit with at least 30 points. The 39 points was a career high.

Smit was 16 of 28 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range.

Her 23 rebounds was just one off of her career-best. It was her second game this season with 30-plus points and 20-plus rebounds.

Sophomore guard Elizabeth Garcia added 15 points before fouling out. And freshman guard Lexi Vail had 11 points and four rebounds before also fouling out.

Irvine Valley led by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter and took 56-46 lead into the final period.

But Riverside battled all the way back. The Tigers took a 69-67 on a layup by Joana Adams with 40 seconds left.

After an IVC timeout, Smit drilled a three-pointer from the corner to put the Lasers ahead, 70-69, with 32 seconds left.

Irvine Valley then committed a foul and Kimari Hollis made one of two free throws to tie the score at 70.

IVC sophomore forward Kiara Warren was fouled on the other end and gave the Lasers a 72-70 lead by making both free throws with 18 seconds to play.

Riverside then turned the ball over and was forced to foul with nine seconds to play. Smit made one of two free throws to give IVC a 73-70 advantage.

But Dejah Wright nailed a three-pointer for the Tigers with five seconds left to tie the game at 73 and send it to overtime.

Irvine Valley scored the first six points of the extra period to take control for good. Smit made a jumper, sophomore guard Mary Dishoian scored inside and then Smit hit another jump shot to make it a 79-73 game.

IVC led 82-79 after one free throw by freshman guard Cydnie Danan with 24 seconds to play.

Riverside had two chances at three-pointers in the closing seconds, but Danan blocked a Wright three with five seconds to play and then Wright's desperation three at the buzzer was off the mark.

Irvine Valley will start the playoffs next Wednesday. Brackets will be announced Monday afternoon.

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