The Saddleback women's basketball team opened the 2018-19 campaign with a 58-50 win over Long Beach City College on Friday night at the Mt. San Antonio College Tournament. Sophomore Joice Beda led the Gaucho attack with 21 points and 17 rebounds.
Beda transferred in from Sonoma State University during the offseason and quickly made her presence known on opening night, dominating at both ends of the court. She kept the Gauchos in the game through three quarters when the shots weren't falling until the pieces around her finally found their stroke. Beda finished 9-of-27 from the field, leading both teams in points and rebounds.
Saddleback trailed 37-36 heading in the fourth quarter, making just 1-of-16 shots from three-point range. The Gauchos heated up when it counted, making 4-of-8 from downtown in the fourth quarter to open up a 13-point lead in the closing minutes. Trailing 40-39, Raven Herrington drilled a three-pointer to give the Gauchos a lead they would never relinquish. On the following possession, Kayla De Leon made another and the Saddleback lead was four. With just under four minutes remaining, Herrington made yet another and the Gaucho lead ballooned to nine.
Despite the offensive struggles, Saddleback's defense was solid all night. The Gauchos held Long Beach City to 33% shooting for the game, holding the Vikings to 2-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc. They also forced 23 turnovers as five different Gauchos had two-or-more steals in the game.
Saddleback will play the winner of Mt. San Antonio College and College of the Canyons, who were playing in the late game. Tomorrow's game is scheduled for 7:00 PM in the Mt. San Antonio College gymnasium.