Up and down night for Saddleback’s basketball teams

Saddleback College sophomore Basketball player Wendell Faines makes an aggressive drive to the basket last Wednesday against Orange Coast College. (Oliver Yu)

David Gutman

Irvine Valley College hosts Saddleback College tonight in the second leg of the Presidents’ Cup for men’s and women’s basketball with a possible men’s conference title on the line.

Tipoff for the women is 5:30, followed by the men at 7:30. IVC captured both games in the first meetings.

The women’s teams at IVC (4-6, 13-14) and Saddleback (2-9, 9-18) have struggled in the Orange Empire Conference.

It’s a different story for the men, where IVC (8-2, 21-5) and defending state champion Saddleback (8-3, 23-6) are virtually even with Riverside for the conference lead.

Saddleback hosted Orange Coast College Feb. 9. The men won, 77-60, but the women lost, 62-50.

Men’s center Wendell Faines had his usual monster game, leading all scorers with 21 points. Faines also grabbed 13 rebounds and two blocked shots. When Faines was not in the game, Saddleback struggled both on offense and defense.

The Gauchos committed nine turnovers in the first half alone. Saddleback starting guard Prince Obassi suffered a difficult night all-around, coming away empty in the points column. But freshmen guard, Vonchae Richardson picked up the slack, scoring 10 points and dishing out seven assists.

The Saddleback women had a more daunting task against Southern California’s seventh-ranked team. OCC came into the game with a 7-1 record in OEC play and its level of skill reflected its record.

The game become more difficult for the Gauchos when lead scorer Audri Sargent fouled out of the game with six minutes left. Sargent averages 15.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game.

Freshmen, Desiree Ale did her best to pick up the slack scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds.

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