Women's basketball team plays big at Santa Ana, earns 21st win

Courtesy of Toni Lavacot
Courtesy of Toni Lavacot

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team will head into the Southern California Regional Playoffs with some momentum.

After a tough, last-second loss at Riverside on Wednesday, the Lasers responded with a 72-40 win at Santa Ana on Friday to close out the regular season.

The Lasers improved their record to 21-7 overall and 9-3 in conference. IVC took second place in the OEC, one game behind champion Cypress.

Irvine Valley, ranked seventh in the Southern California Regional poll this week, will now await the announcement of the playoff pairings on Monday.

IVC jumped out to a 7-1 lead and was ahead, 24-10, at the end of the first quarter. The Lasers never looked back.

Irvine Valley shot 52.6 percent (10 of 19) in the opening quarter as a team and got nine points and three rebounds from freshman forward Kydell Pearson.

Irvine Valley was up, 41-24, at halftime and then out-scored Santa Ana, 31-16, in the second half for the dominant win.

The Lasers took their largest lead of the game at 70-37 with 2:07 remaining in the game on a three-pointer by Pearson.

Pearson ended with a game-high 20 points. She was 8 of 9 from the field, 2 of 2 on three-pointers and made 2 of 3 free throws.

Freshman forward Kasey Smit added 16 points and 10 rebounds. She made 7 of 12 shots. Sophomore guard Tara Casey chipped in 11 points, five rebounds and three steals and sophomore forward De'Jerre Scurry contributed eight points and five rebounds for IVC.

Santa Ana (17-11, 6-6) was paced by Taylor Ivicevic and Blaysen Varnadoe, who each had 11 points.