The Saddleback women's basketball team defeated Orange Coast College, 76-72, on Wednesday night inside the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos came back from a double-digit deficit behind Raven Herrington.
Saddleback was looking for revenge after losing the highest scoring game in program history at Orange Coast earlier in the year (91-103). The Gauchos had to dig deep into the well as they trailed at the half by nine points and by as many as 12 early in the second half.
Raven Herrington kept Saddleback in the game in the opening 20 minutes. Herrington had 18 at the half, making 7-of-17 from the field and 2-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The second half wasn't much different, as Herrigton was called upon to lead the comeback. She ignited the offense with a three-pointer at the 7:19 mark of the third quarter to get Saddleback back within seven at 48-41. Herrington again answered an Orange Coast mini-run with three free throws after the Gauchos had fallen behind by 12 with 4:22 remaining in the third quarter. Two minutes later she cut the lead to 53-46 after Haliegh Wilkerson won a mad scramble on the court for a loose ball and dished it to her all alone under the basket. Herrington would finish the third quarter with 28 points as Saddleback was back within three at 59-56.
The game was very tight throughout the fourth quarter, with neither team leading by more than five points at any point the rest of the way. Herrington finally got the Gauchos even with 8:46 remaining when she drained another three-pointer to tie things up at 61-61. It was the first time Saddleback had been even since the 2:57 mark of the second quarter. Herrington then put Saddleback ahead with back-to-back baskets with under six minutes remaining as the lead changed hands four times in just over a minute. It was the last basket for Herrington, who fouled out with 35 points at the 5:06 mark of the game and the Gauchos holding a 68-67 lead.
With Herrington on the bench, Saddleback would have to look to other options if they were going to complete the comeback. The first to respond was Nagina Hamid, who buried a three-pointer for a 71-68 lead with 3:05 remaining. The next was Landry Armstrong, who made her first shot of the game with 51 seconds remaining to give the Gauchos a 75-72 lead. Saddleback would hang on for the win as Orange Coast failed to score over the final 1:57 of the contest.
Saddleback is now 6-18 overall and 3-8 in Orange Empire Conference play following the win. The Gauchos will try to make it two straight when they travel to Riverside City College on Friday night. The Gauchos and Tigers are scheduled to tip off at 5:00 PM.