The Saddleback women's basketball team picked up a win against Orange Coast College on Thursday night, defeating the Pirates, 68-60, inside the Saddleback Gymnasium. Sophomore Joice Beda set a new program record for rebounds in a single game with 25.
Saddleback trailed early, but quickly responded with a big run to take control. The Gauchos fell behind 5-2 in the opening two minutes of the game before going on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes and never looking back.
Saddleback led 41-26 at the half, thanks in large part to a big half from both Joice Beda and Kayla De Leon. Beda finished the half with 13 points and 15 rebounds while De Leon was 5-for-10 from three-point range in scoring 18 points over the opening 20 minutes.
Saddleback opened up an 18 point lead midway through the third quarter when it was evident that Beda was on the cusp of something special. Needing just seven rebounds in the second half to tie a program record, she picked up her second of the half in the opening minutes as the Gaucho lead increased. After a brief stint on the bench to catch a breather, she entered the game with 4:14 remaining in the quarter and quickly picked up her third with 3:22 left in closing within four rebounds of tying the record. She would finish the third quarter with 20 rebounds, just two shy of a record set on two occasions (Audri Sargent 2011, Carly Andrews 2005).
Beda closed to within one at the 7:38 mark of the fourth quarter after Jalisa Simons missed a three-point shot for the Pirates. She then tied the record off another miss from Simons on the following possession, leaving her with plenty of time to set the new mark. Beda wasted no time, collecting yet another rebound in the defensive end with 6:23 remaining for her record-setting 23rd rebound of the game. She would finish with 25.
De Leon finished with a game-high 27 points after cooling down a bit in the second half. She currently holds the program record for three-pointers in a game after burying nine against Riverside City College last January. It looked as if she had a chance at tying or breaking her own record in the third quarter when she made her sixth of the game with 2:30 remaining. Unfortunately, that would be the final mark for De Leon as she finished 6-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Saddleback is now 5-17 overall and 2-10 in Orange Empire Conference play with two games remaining on the schedule. The Gauchos will travel to Riverside City College next Wednesday before returning home on Friday to host Santa Ana College in the final game of the season. Both games are scheduled for 7:00 PM.