Women's basketball team drops first game in conference play

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

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team could never get untracked at Cypress and lost its first game in Orange Empire Conference play on Wednesday night.

The Lasers, ranked No. 14 in the state, fell, 74-58, to No. 20 Cypress and slipped into a tie for first place in the OEC standings with the Chargers.

The defeat also snapped a nine-game win streak for IVC.

Irvine Valley shot just 26.5 percent (18 of 68) from the field and 25.0 percent (6 of 24) from three-point range in the game. 

The Lasers trailed, 20-15, after the first quarter and, 40-29, at the half. 

They used a strong third quarter to get within two points and trailed just 53-47 heading into the fourth quarter. But it wasn't enough.

Cypress pulled away in the fourth quarter.

The Chargers shot 44.1 percent (30 of 68) in the game.

But the key was the way Cypress scored inside and off the bench. The Chargers out-scored the Lasers in the paint, 42-16, and off the bench, 35-7.

Irvine Valley was paced by freshman guard Anai Washington, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. 

Freshman guard Kelli Murakami-Hanashiro had 12 points and freshman center Zoe Stachowski contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Cypress got a big night from Hannah Avila-McArthur, who finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Sara Weber also had 16 points off the bench for Cypress.

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