By Cameron Winston
Riverside City College Tigers women’s basketball season has come to an end.
The Tigers put up a thrilling hard fought game, but could not quite hold off against LA Valley College surging third quarter, and ended up taking a 79-73 defeat in the first round of the playoffs Feb. 24.
The team was led by Sophomore point guard Britney Gonzalez who scored an impressive 25-point outing on 9 of 21 shooting from the field, and added four three-pointers as well. Two players came away in the game with double-doubles, freshman guard Chiderah Uzowuru put up 19 points and 11 rebounds, while forward Darria Hewitt added 13 points and 14 rebounds herself.
Britney Gonzalez and Chiderah Uzowuru have added a consistent spark to the team throughout the season. Gonzalez averaged a team high in points with 15.0 a game, while shooting 36.9 percent from the field, and a team high 31.6 percent from the three-point line. Chiderah Uzowuru followed up adding to the other team high in points 15.0, contributing 13 double-doubles and averaging 9.6 rebounds per game, which was second on the team. Sophomore forward, Paradise Hanchett, averaged 13.6 rebounds and contributed to 10.6 points with 13 double-doubles as well.
The Tigers, led by head coach Alicia Berber, finished this season with at 19-11, and finished with an impressive 8-2 home record. The team had a monumental start to the season starting 7-0, until losing to Palomar College at the Inaugural Palomar College Comet Classic Tournament Championship Game.
In conference play, the team seemed to struggle going only 6-6, but finished third in the conference. Cypress College who finished 11-1, were first in the Orange Empire Conference while Saddleback College finished second going 8-4. Against both teams however, Riverside City College fared well.
On Jan 13, the first matchup between RCC and Saddleback College, the team presented an exciting and competitive game, but ended up losing 66-62. Chiderah Uzowuru added a team high 24 points that game, and shot an efficient 50 percent as well. In game two against Saddleback on Feb 8, the Tigers enacted their revenge, nabbing a 55-47 victory with the help of Uzowuru (19 points and 12 rebounds) and Paradise Hanchett (11 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks) who garnered outstanding double-double performances.
Cypress College and RCC’s first go around on Jan 20, ended in a crushing defeat for the Tigers thanks to the implosion of a 33 point third quarter produced by Cypress that helped make the final score 82-72. Their second matchup toward the end of the season offered another competitive game for the Tigers. Despite putting up a fighting effort they lost 74-69.
A successful, hard-fought, and enduring season for the Tigers this year with the outlook of an even better one next season credited by the coaching of Berber, Jessie Valencia and Ron Underwood.