Women's Basketball

Women's basketball team rolls in Irvine Valley tourney opener

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

Irvine Valley's women's basketball team won its fifth straight game and opened up its own tournament in style on Thursday night at home.

Behind a dominant performance on the glass by sophomore forward Kasey Smit, the Lasers defeated Southwestern, 68-41, in a first round game of the Irvine Valley Tournament.

Smit finished with 24 rebounds to go along with 12 points, five assists, four blocks and three steals in 27 minutes.

The 24 rebounds was an IVC record for a game. The previous high of 21 was shared by Breanna Turner and Alexis Casillas, who each had 21 rebounds in games during the 2014-15 season.

Irvine Valley, which improved its record to 7-2 overall, also got a strong performance from sophomore forward Kiara Warren, who finished with a team-high 16 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field. She added eight rebounds and two steals.

Freshman guard Bryanna Espiritu came off the bench with nine points and freshman guard Lexi Vail and sophomore guard Mary Dishoian each finished with eight points for the Lasers.

IVC shot just 30.8 percent (24 of 78) from the field as a team. But the Lasers held Southwestern to only 21.7 percent (13 of 60).

Irvine Valley had 17 second-chance points on 21 offensive rebounds and out-scored Southwestern, 32-10, in the paint.

The Lasers' bench also out-scored Southwestern, 23-4, in the contest. And IVC had 23 points off 22 Southwestern turnovers in the game.

Irvine Valley led, 22-14, after the first quarter and was up, 39-22, at the end of the first half.

The Lasers led by as many as 31 points before winning by 27.

Southwestern, which saw its record slip to 4-6 overall, got 24 points and nine rebounds from Satera Bates. But she was the only player to have more than six points for the Jaguars.

Irvine Valley will play next in the semifinals of the tournament on Friday night against El Camino at 7 p.m.

The Lasers just played El Camino last Friday and came away with a tough, 60-57, win at home.

El Camino is the defending champion of the tournament.

The other semifinal on Friday night pits Long Beach City, which was ranked No. 9 in the coaches preseason poll, against Grossmont at 5 p.m.

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