Riverside out-rebounds Cuesta College to advance to the second round of the southern regional conference

Posted: Feb. 27, 2015 | Written by Laura Tapia & Alexis Naucler

Riverside City College women’s basketball team had no problem shaking off the game against Santa Ana, allowing them to move up to 18-11 overall by beating the Cuesta Cougars, 71-61, on Feb. 25.

Cuesta entered the game at 23-7 following off a loss at home against Moorpark.

Sophomore Tori Mitchell broke RCC Head Coach Alicia Berber’s defensive rebounding record of 242, set in her 1995-96 season, raising it up to 244.

Mitchell had a total of 15 rebounds in the match against Cuesta.

“It’s even more of an honor to have my own players break them,” Berber said. “It just kind of happened and I hadn’t looked at that all year…no one’s ever come close to my rebounding.”

Mitchell towered over the Cougars getting four easy blocks while sophomore Ashley Davis racked up a total of 23 rebounds. Tristyn Gates lead the team with 18 points, followed by guard Jordan Lofton with 15.

This is Berber’s 14th season and has taken all but two of her teams to the Southern California Regionals. In 2005 she took her team to the Commission of Athletics’ Elite eight and in 2006 her team made it to the Final Four.

In a previous playoff meeting in 2006, Riverside beat Cuesta 71-38. This marks the third time they faced the Cougars during the playoffs.

During their first playoff game this season, Tigers starting guard Tierra Fuqua was out with an ankle injury, allowing the backup point guard, freshman Jordan Lofton show her talent.

Opposing head coach Ron Barba acknowledged Fuqua’s talent.

“I know Riverside’s guard she’s a tremendous player, we’re gearing for her, she didn’t show up, but the backup guard did well and that’s a sign that they have good depth.”

Riverside is trying to get one step closer to the state championships where four women’s teams will compete. The championships will be held at Cerritos College from March 13-15.

“I feel good, I mean the pressure on me…this is the moment you live for,” Berber said.

The Tigers will be up against the undefeated Mount San Antonio College on Feb. 28 for the second round of the Southern California Championships.