Tigers Fend Off Dons in Conference Nail Biter

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

After controlling the majority of the contest, the Riverside City College women's basketball team found themselves in a dog fight with the Santa Ana College Dons with under a minute remaining. The Tigers held a lead as large as 24 points, but a pesky Dons offense pulled within three points. Despite the close call, the Tigers worked to settle the Dons down the stretch leading to a 71-64 triumph on Coaches vs. Cancer Night.

Santa Ana came out of the gates hot in the fourth quarter by kicking off the final 10 minutes on a 15-4 run. As the Tigers began to pull away, the Dons came rumbling back to pull within three of the lead. However, a pair of clutch free throws from freshman guard Regenus Gates put the final nail in the coffin leading to the victory.

Riverside out-rebounded the Dons by a ratio of 52-42. They carted a strong shooting percentage of 40 despite a poor showing from beyond the arc.

Gates, who dropped seven points and hauled in six rebounds, has come on strong in the past three games. She came into the night scoring a season-high 21 points in the conference opener against Cypress and has consistently hit the boards.

Sophomore guard Trinity Vasquez continued to pioneer the offensive ship by notching her 10th-consecutive double-digit scoring game with 17 points tonight. She was a pair of boards shy of a double-double. Additionally, she dished out four assists and pocketed three steals.

Sophomore guard Vanessa Vargas recorded her fourth double-digit scoring game on the season and first in four games by flushing 11 points. Freshman guard Le'Asia Gayle came off the bench and nearly copped a double-double with eight points and nine rebounds.

At the conclusion of the contest, the Tigers honored Rachel London, the sister of freshman guard Rebecca London, and Stephanie Elaine Polk-Anderson, the sister of assistant coach Karen Polk. Polk-Anderson recently passed away due to cancer, while Rachel is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma for the second time.

The victory was dedicated to the two cancer victims.  

Riverside (9-6, 1-1 OEC) will continue action on the road Wednesday, January 15 against Gold West at 5 p.m.