The Irvine Valley women’s basketball team finally returned home after six away games and one home game played at nearby Concordia University.
It was good to have the crowd behind the Lasers in last Friday’s 78-69 home victory over Riverside.
Apparently the shot clock, which delayed the contest 12 minutes because of a malfunction, did not want the Lasers to return home.
IVC center DJ Butler was out because of an ejection in a loss to Fullerton on Wednesday and forward Tiffany Smith was sidelined with a fever. The score, though, did not show the heart and determination the Lasers played with all game.
The first half was back and forth between the two teams. Both the Lasers and Tigers had leads and the Lasers took a 29-27 lead into halftime.
Sophomores Jenna Schonfeld had nine points in the first half and Nicole Tait had seven.
The Tigers had a strong second half from Akisha Waldrop, who scored 22 of her 35 points in the second half alone.
In a stirring rendition of déjÃ vu from the Lasers’ recent contests, the referees once again were calling a lot of fouls.
There were a total of 83 free throws shot by both teams. The Lasers were 59 percent from the line, while the Tigers were a 62.8 percent.
The difference in the game was field goal percentage.
The Tigers (12-18, 5-8) shot 38 percent for the game but 53 percent in the second half was the Lasers shot 25 percent in the second half and only 25.7 percent for the game.
“We wanted to attack go out and be aggressive and be smart,” said freshman Ashley Dunn, who had a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
With 3:51 remaining in the game and IVC down by nine points, the Lasers crawled back in the game, erasing the deficit to three points, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Tigers on this night. The Lasers (15-11. 4-6) now will play Santa Ana, a team they defeated on the road earlier this season, at home Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
“We will have a similar game plan,” Dunn said, “make then play to our level, not to theirs.” The Lasers then play Cypress on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
IVC, which has dropped its last four games after going on a four-game winning streak, should have both Butler and Smith back in the lineup for both games.