Women's Basketball

Basketball team takes OEC title outright with win over Cypress

Basketball team takes OEC title outright with win over Cypress

Irvine Valley women's basketball coach Julie Hanks couldn't have expected much more from her squad on Wednesday night.

The Lasers came out ready to play and turned in one of their best performances in one of the most important contests of the season.

Irvine Valley, ranked No. 4 in the state, improved to 23-2 overall, stayed unbeaten in the Orange Empire Conference at 11-0 and wrapped up the conference title outright with a 94-81 victory over No. 17 Cypress at home.

Irvine Valley has now won three OEC titles in a row.

IVC scored 56 points in the second half, including 30 in the third quarter, to pull away and beat a tough Cypress squad.

The Lasers did a lot of damage from three-point range in the game, hitting 15 of 30 attempts.

Three players, sophomore guard Morgan Higgins and freshman guards Jessica Suruor and Samantha Uehara, led the way.

Higgins went 7 of 12 from deep with Suruor making 6 of 16 three's and Uehara canning 5 of 8 shots.

Higgins paced the Lasers on the night, finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

But she wasn't alone. All five IVC starters scored in double figures.

Sophomore guard Anai Washington added 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Sophomore forward Zoe Stachowski contributed 18 points and 15 rebounds, Suruor chipped in 17 points and Uehara had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Cypress led by as many as five points in the opening quarter, but IVC regained the lead and took a 19-17 advantage into the second period.

And the Lasers were up, 38-34, in a back and forth first half.

But IVC took control in the third quarter, out-scoring the Chargers, 30-21.

And Irvine Valley was up by as many as 16 points late in the game before winning by 13.

Cypress got solid nights from its two stars. Jessica Barrow ended with 27 points, six rebounds and four steals and Pressila Blanco had 27 points, four assists and three steals. Sarah Welch chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds for Cypress, which saw its record fall to 19-6 overall and 8-3 in conference.

Irvine Valley has one more game left in the regular season and that is on Friday when it hosts Fullerton at 5 p.m.

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