The Irvine Valley College Lasers and Cypress Chargers women's basketball teams each took care of business on Thursday night to finish in a deadlock for first place in the OEC at 13-1. The Lady Chargers, ranked No. 16 in the state, earn a share of their third consecutive OEC title, while No. 7 IVC earns a share of their first conference title since 2015.
The Lasers clinched their share of the title with a wild 82-79 overtime win at Riverside. Conference MVP Kasey Smit had her best game of the season and IVC needed all of her effort to get the victory. She finished with a career-high 39 points and 23 rebounds in the contest. It was the third game this season for Smit with at least 30 points. Smit was 16-of-28 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range.
Irvine Valley led by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter and took 56-46 lead into the final period. Riverside battled all the way back. The Tigers took a 69-67 on a layup by Joana Adams with 40 seconds left. The Lasers would regain a three-point advantage, but Riverside's Dejah Wright nailed a three-pointer for the Tigers with five seconds left to tie the game at 73 and send it to overtime.
Irvine Valley scored the first six points of the extra period to take control for good. Smit made a jumper, sophomore guard Mary Dishoian scored inside and then Smit hit another jump shot to make it a 79-73 game.
The Chargers ended their regular season with a dominant performance at home against Santa Ana College, 85-65. Sophomore guard Gabrielle Carbajal led the way against the Dons with 19 points on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting. Carbajal added 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Sophomore guard Vivian Lara finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while freshman Nicole Miller chipped in 14 points and 7 boards off the bench.
The CCCAA released its 2018 Women's Basketball Southern California Regional Playoff bracket on Monday. Irvine Valley College received a #7 seed and will play host to #10 East LA on Friday, while Cypress earned a #12 seed and will travel to take on #5 Ventura College. Riverside City College will join the Co-OEC Champs in postseason play as a #15 seed. The Tigers will host #18 San Bernardino Valley.