Women's Basketball

Turnovers costly in women's basketball team's loss to Saddleback

Turnovers costly in women's basketball team's loss to Saddleback

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team saw another close game slip away Friday night.

The Lasers lost to Saddleback, 50-48, in an Orange Empire Conference contest at home.

Saddleback won both conference games over the Lasers this season.

Irvine Valley had its record fall to 15-10 overall and 4-5 in conference.

The Lasers dropped into fifth place in the standings.

It has been peaks and valleys for the Lasers in conference. They lost three in a row, won four straight and have now lost consecutive games.

Saddleback, which leads the conference race, improved its record to 16-9 overall and 7-1 in conference.

Turnovers were the difference in the game Friday night. IVC committed a season high 37. Saddleback had 15.

The Gauchos used that advantage to out-score Irvine Valley in points off of turnovers, 34-10.

Still, Irvine Valley was up for most of the game.

The Lasers took their largest lead at 22-13 with 3:39 left in the first half on a free throw by sophomore guard Jasmine Kennon.

Saddleback closed out the first half on a 8-2 run to pull within 24-21 at halftime.

Irvine Valley scored the first five points of the second half. It took a 29-21 lead on a free throw by freshman center Breanna Turner with 18:18 left to play.

But Saddleback went on another run, this time a 17-5 streak to take a four-point lead. A layup by Whitney Braeutigam tied it at 34-34, two free throws by Lillie Rellin gave the Gauchos a 36-34 advantage and another basket by Braeutigam made it 38-34 with 10:46 left to play.

The 36-34 lead was Saddleback's first of the game.

Irvine Valley answered and took a 40-38 lead on a basket by freshman forward Alexis Casillas with 7:55 to go.

The teams traded leads after that.

Saddleback's Tatiana Moana tied the game with a basket at 42-42 with 5:57 to play.

And a free throw by Rellin gave Saddleback a 43-42 lead with 5:14 left.

A jump shot by freshman guard Kendall Peterson put Irvine Valley back in front 44-43 with 4:49 left.

Saddleback regained the lead at 45-44 on a basket by Braeutigam with 4:23 remaining.

And a jumper by freshman forward Conerie Brennan made it 46-45 IVC with 3:45 to play.

But Irvine Valley only scored two points the rest of the way.

A three-point play by Moana gave Saddleback the lead for good at 48-46 with 2:16 left.

IVC had two turnovers and missed a layup on its next three possessions.

A free throw by Deja Brooks gave Saddleback a three-point cushion (49-46).

Kennon made a layup with four seconds to play to get the Lasers within 49-48, but it was too late.

Irvine Valley was led by Kennon's 14 points. Alexis Casillas had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Turner finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

The Lasers shot 46.3 percent (19 of 41) from the field and out-rebounded Saddleback, 43-28.

Saddleback got 15 points from Braeutigam, 14 points and four steals from Brooks and 10 points and five rebounds from Moana in the win.

Saddleback shot 31.1 percent (19 of 61) from the field.

Irvine Valley will try to bounce back on Tuesday when it hosts Santa Ana at 5:30 p.m. It is Homecoming Night.

Santa Ana sits a half of a game ahead of Irvine Valley for fourth place in the conference standings.

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