IRVINE, CA – The Cypress College women's basketball team came up big in a battle for first place against the Irvine Valley Lasers on Friday night. The Chargers' 76-69 victory snapped the Lasers' 13-game winning streak and handed IVC their first conference loss of the season. Irvine Valley, ranked No. 7 in the state, had its record drop to 22-4 overall and 11-1 in conference. Cypress, ranked No. 19 in the state, improved to 19-7 overall and moved into a tie for first place in the conference with IVC at 11-1.
Four Chargers finished the game scoring in double-figures. Sophomore guard Gabrielle Carbajal led the way for the Chargers with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on the night. Freshman forward Christa Evans notched her second double-double of the season, pouring in 16 points on an efficient 8-of-12 shooting, while grabbing 10 boards. Vivian Lara added 12 points and Nicole Miller chipped in 11 points off the bench.
Cypress led for the entirety of the game on Friday night, scoring the game's first 13 points, while the Lasers missed their first eight shots of the contest. However, IVC clawed their way back into the game, cutting Cypress' lead to four points at halftime, 40-36.
The Chargers continued to overwhelm Irvine Valley with their size in the second half. Cypress outscored the laser by 20 points in the painted area, while making Lasers' standout Kasey Smit work for every look at the basket. Smit, who torched the Chargers for 34 points in their first meeting, finished with 21 points on 9-for-22 shooting on Friday night.
The Chargers are now in control their own destiny with two games remaining in Orange Empire Conference play. Cypress has the opportunity to claim a share of their third consecutive OEC title if they win out. Cypress plays at Saddleback on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and then ends the regular season against Santa Ana at home on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.
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