Women's basketball team's second-half rally falls short

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

The Irvine Valley women's basketball team battled all night long, but it wasn't enough to upend Saddleback in an Orange Empire Conference game at home Wednesday.

Saddleback came out on top, 61-51, to sweep the season series between the two teams.

Irvine Valley's record fell to 10-14 overall and 2-6 in conference, while Saddleback improved its record to 20-6 overall and 7-1 in conference.

The Lasers, who never led in the game, trailed, 20-9, after the first quarter and, 33-17, at the half.

IVC shot just 25.9 percent (7 of 27) from the field as a team in the opening half.

But Irvine Valley made it a five-point game at 49-44 after a layup by freshman forward Taylor Hall with 4:27 left in the game.

And the Lasers got within 52-48 with 2:55 to play after two free throws by sophomore guard Serena Saba.

Saddleback made 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch to ice the win.

The Gauchos got a big game from Janae Omusi, who finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Kara Ito was Saddleback's other player in double figures for scoring with 14 points. She added five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Laura Tapia contributed eight points and seven rebounds for the Gauchos.

Irvine Valley was paced by sophomore forward Kydell Pearson, who ended with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Elizabeth Garcia had 11 points, three assists and five steals, sophomore guard Aaleah Brown finished with nine points and two steals and Hall had nine points and eight rebounds for the Lasers.

IVC plays again on Friday in another conference game at Fullerton at 7 p.m.