The Saddleback women's basketball team evened its conference record with an 80-34 win over Copper Mountain College. It was the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Copper Mountain added women's basketball in 2017-18 and the Fighting Cacti showed some growing pains in the Saddleback Gymnasium on Friday night. The Gauchos led 27-2 after the opening quarter and 52-10 at the half in cruising to the win.
Saddleback received 13 points from Kayla De Leon in the opening half after she made 3-of-8 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes. Saddleback also held a huge advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Fighting Cacti 34-15 in the first half.
Copper Mountain made a bit of a run to start the second half, outscoring Saddleback 16-4 over the first seven minutes to cut the lead to 56-26. The Gauchos finally answered when Nadia Taghavi-Dinani buried a three-pointer to get Saddleback back on the right track.
De Leon finished with a team-high 19 points as Saddleback finished with five players in double figures. Haliegh Wilkerson (10), Landry Armstrong (10), Samanna Trinh (10) and Jazmine Langford (13) all had season-highs in scoring on the night.
The Gauchos ended up with a 66-37 advantage in rebounds, finishing three rebounds short of a program record (LA Valley, 1995-96).
Saddleback will play again next Wednesday when they travel to Santa Ana College to take on the Lady Dons. Tip time is scheduled for 7:00 PM in Santa Ana.