Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team picks up important road victory

Women's basketball team picks up important road victory

The Irvine Valley women's basketball team won a battle between two of the state's top-ranked squads on the road Wednesday night.

The Lasers, ranked No. 11, defeated No. 5 Pasadena City, 66-52, with an impressive fourth quarter.

Irvine Valley improved its record to 8-1 overall and bounced back from its first defeat of the season last week at home to LA Valley.

IVC also handed Pasadena City its first loss. The Lancers' record dropped to 7-1 overall.

The teams traded the lead 17 times and were tied on five occasions.

Irvine Valley was up, 13-11, after one quarter, but PCC tied it at 26 by halftime.

The Lasers led, 38-37, going into the fourth quarter.

And in the final period, Irvine Valley pulled away. 

IVC fought through PCC's press defense and it resulted in a run of driving layups on the other end.

The Lasers went on a 10-2 run, all on layups capped by freshman forward Alara Ersu's bucket to make it 51-42.

After Mya Rivera netted a three-pointer for PCC, the Lasers scored the next seven points and essentially put the game out of reach, ahead by 13 (58-45) with less than four minutes remaining.  

While PCC barely made it to the free throw line all game (just 1 for 4 on attempts), Irvine Valley took full advantage of its free throw opportunities, making 23 of 27 (85.2 percent), including 16 of 19 in the second half.

Freshman forward Kaitlyn Luu led IVC with a game-high 19 points (11 for 12 at the stripe) and added 10 rebounds. 

Freshman guard Morgan Higgins added 10 points, seven assists and four steals. She was 4 of 4 from the free throw line.

And Ersu, sophomore guard Anai Washington and freshman guard Samantha Uehara each chipped in eight points. Washington also finished with eight rebounds.

For Pasadena, Dariel Johnson totaled 10 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and five blocked shots and Cosette Balmy scored a team-high 13 points with seven assists and three steals.

Irvine Valley has a quick turnaround and is back in action on Friday, hosting a crossover event that features four teams.

The first game on Friday is at 5 p.m. and will feature Barstow against Rio Hondo. The Lasers take on Cerritos in the nightcap at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Rio Hondo will play Cerritos at 4 p.m. and Irvine Valley will meet Barstow at 6 p.m.

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