The Saddleback College Women’s basketball team has been in a slight rut as of late. The Gauchos had lost three of their last four games going into their Jan. 28 game at Riverside. Saddleback isn’t lacking in the effort, however, they are lacking in the results.
Both teams came out shooting the ball extremely well. The Gauchos shot 46 percent from the field and 56 percent on their three-point shots in the first half, while the Tigers 47 percent and 33 percent, respectively, in the first half. Despite the hot three-point shooting Saddleback still found themselves down by four at halftime.
Neither team would take control or let the game run away from them until just under the seven minute mark of the second half. With the score tied at 53 all, the Tigers went on a 10-1 run to begin to pull away. Riverside’s lead would grow to 12 points at the largest in the final minutes of the half to hand the Gauchos a 76-66 loss.
The loss put a damper on what was a great offensive night by Keisha Cox. Cox scored 30 of the Gauchos’ 66 points in the game going 9-for-26 shooting from the field, 4-for-11 from behind the three-point line, and 8-for-11 on her free throws. Cox also added eight rebounds and three assists to her totals on the night. Johnondra Patterson was second on the Gauchos in scoring with 12 points and also pulled down a team-leading nine rebounds.
Saddleback would follow up the loss with another hard fought road game in Santa Ana. In a game that was a close contest throughout, neither the Gauchos or the Dons were able to amass a lead larger than four points. Saddleback and Santa Ana would continue to exchange the lead in the second half until the game reached 56-56.
With the eighth tie score of the game and only a few minutes to play, the Gauchos let another game slip out of their fingers. Santa Ana would hit one of two free throws to take a 57-56 lead and would hit two more in the final 30 seconds to seal the 59-56 final. Saddleback was only able to manage three shot attempts in the final two minutes while also committing three turnovers in that time span.
Cox and Patterson led the Gauchos in scoring, each with 16 a piece. Cox also tied for the rebound lead with Arlene Kaleopa. They both had seven rebounds. Kaleopa also lead the Gauchos in assists with five and steals with four.
Saddleback’s current four-game losing streak brings their overall record to 9-13 and their Orange Empire Conference record to 2-5.
Saddleback will have a much needed week to practice before their next game against the Orange Coast College Pirates at the Saddleback Gym on Feb. 6.