By Wes McCurtis
RIVERSIDE, CA – The Cypress College women's basketball team (22-6, 10-1 OEC) captured the 2017 Orange Empire Conference Championship outright after a tough fought victory over Riverside (18-10, 5-6 OEC) on Tuesday night, 74-69. The No. 12 Lady Chargers will enter Thursday's conference finale against Santa Ana as back-to-back conference champions with the opportunity to secure a high postseason seed.
Sylvia Garcia tossed in a team-high 18 points and pulled down a co-team-high 7 rebounds to pace Cypress. Alyssa Movchan added 12 points and Monique Mesa chipped in with 10 points for the Chargers. Joi Bertrand finished with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots for Cypress.
The Chargers entered halftime trailing the Tigers 39-37. However, as they often do, the Lady Chargers responded with a 16-4 run in the third quarter to take control of the game. Trailing by 11 with just over 2 minutes left, the Tigers used a 7-0 run to give themselves a chance late. A made free throw down the stretch for Dominique Culhno put the game out of reach as the Chargers went on to win 74-69.
This marks the seventh Orange Empire Conference Championship in the history of the women's basketball program, and second ever back-to-back. "We are very excited to repeat as Champions. We knew with the returning class we had that we could compete, yet in the always tough OEC it's always easier said than done. It's a great honor," said Coach Margaret Mohr.
Women's basketball will close out regular season play in their conference finale on the road against Santa Ana on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Stay connected with the Chargers through social media. Follow Cypress College Athletics on Twitter @CypressChargers. Check in with the Chargers on Facebook/CypressChargers and on Instagram @CypressChargers.