Irvine Valley's women's basketball team got by Saddleback, 75-73, in an Orange Empire Conference game on the road Friday night.
The Lasers, who trailed most of the early part of the game, rallied, took a lead and then held on down the stretch to pick up a key conference win.
The win improved Irvine Valley's record to 19-4 overall and 9-1 in conference. The Lasers stayed tied atop of the OEC standings with Cypress, which beat Copper Mountain on the road on Friday.
Irvine Valley trailed, 19-12, after the first quarter and was down by as many as nine points in the first half.
But the Lasers out-scored Saddleback, 21-14, in the second quarter to pull within 34-33 at the half.
And Irvine Valley used a strong, 21-point third quarter to take a 54-48, lead going into the final period.
Irvine Valley took its largest lead at 64-55 on a jumper by freshman forward Zoe Stachowski with 5:35 left in the game.
The Lasers still led, 68-61, after sophomore guard Lexi Vail made a basket with 3:38 to play.
And IVC looked like it sealed the game after two free throws by freshman guard Anai Washington gave it a 71-65 advantage with 37 seconds remaining.
But Nagina Hamid made a three-pointer with 31 seconds left to get Saddleback within 71-68. And she made another three-pointer with 10 seconds to play to make it a 74-71 game.
Freshman guard Megan Herrera made one of two free throws with seven seconds left to give Irvine Valley a 75-71 lead.
Saddleback made two free throws with one second remaining for the final score.
Irvine Valley got 20 points and 12 rebounds from Stachowski in the win.
Washington added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Vail had 16 points, six rebounds and four steals and sophomore forward Ryane Bradbury finished with eight points and five rebounds.
Irvine Valley plays again next Tuesday at home at 7 p.m. against Riverside in another big conference match-up. Riverside is in third place in the conference standings, two games behind IVC and Cypress.
It is also Irvine Valley's annual Coaches vs. Cancer night, as well as the Homecoming game.