Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team still on top in conference after OT win

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

The Irvine Valley women's basketball team found more ways to win late and kept on rolling in the Orange Empire Conference with a 70-65 win in overtime over Fullerton on Wednesday night at home.

It was Irvine Valley's second overtime win so far in conference.

The Lasers, ranked seventh in the state and fourth in Southern California, improved their record to 19-3 overall and 6-0 in the conference standings.

Fullerton, ranked 16th in the state, slipped to 14-7 overall and 3-3 in conference.

At the end of the first round of conference play, Irvine Valley leads Cypress by one game in the standings.

IVC handed Cypress its lone loss in conference, coming back from a deficit in the second half to win by seven points last week.

The definite star on Wednesday night in the overtime win for the Lasers was freshman guard Jordan Coleman.

Coleman was just one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 21 points, 13 rebounds (nine offensive) and nine assists in 38 minutes of action. She played  the end of regulation and all of overtime with four fouls.

Sophomore center Breanna Turner added 15 points and 13 rebounds, sophomore forward Conerie Brennan had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists and freshman guard Tara Casey chipped in 10 points and two big three-pointers.

The Lasers also won thanks to out-rebounding Fullerton, 57-38. The Lasers had 30 offensive rebounds in the game and out-scored Fullerton, 21-10, on second chance points.

The game was close throughout with 10 ties and nine lead changes.

Fullerton led by as many as eight points early on.

The Lasers took a 30-28 lead into halftime on a buzzer-beater layup by Coleman.

The second half was back and forth.

Fullerton went up, 51-48, on back-to-back layups by Michelle Okoroike and Emilee Dy with 5:43 left in regulation.

A free throw by Coleman and then a three-pointer by Brennan gave Irvine Valley a 52-51 lead with 4:39 to play.

A layup by Yana Pollard with 4:14 to go put Fullerton back on top, 53-52, with 4:14 to go.

Neither team scored again until Casey hit a three-pointer to give Irvine Valley a 55-53 advantage with 1:35 left.

Okoroike tied it at 55-55 on a layup 16 seconds later.

Coleman was fouled going to the basket with 1:04 to play and sank two free throws to give Irvine Valley a 57-55 lead.

But Fullerton's Noelle Cobb tied the game at 57-57 with a runner in the lane with 50 seconds left.

Both teams missed on final chances in regulation.

Irvine Valley scored the first points of the overtime on a jumper by freshman guard Erika Mercado and then never looked back.

A three-pointer by Casey with 1:49 left in the overtime gave Irvine Valley a 65-59 lead.

Turner and Casey each hit a pair of free throws and Coleman made 1 of 2 free throws to close out the contest for Irvine Valley.

The Lasers shot just 34.2 percent (26 of 76) from the field for the game, but did have 21 assists on their 26 made baskets.

Fullerton shot 42.4 percent (28 of 66) for the game. The Hornets were just 3 of 20 from three-point range (15.0 percent).

Fullerton was led by Dy, who finished with 20 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Kelli Calton had 12 points and eight rebounds, Cobb added 10 points and Pollard finished with nine rebounds, six blocks and three steals.

Irvine Valley starts the second round of conference play on Friday, hosting Orange Coast at 7 p.m.

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