A successful 2015-16 Rio Hondo College women's basketball season came to an end on Wednesday following the Roadrunners' 65-54 loss at Pasadena City College in an opening-round game of the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
Rio Hondo compiled a 14-14 overall record and finished tied for second place in the final year of the Foothill Conference at 7-3. The Roadrunners made their first-ever postseason appearance under seventh-year head coach Steve Johnson.
On Wednesday, 14th-seeded Pasadena played sound defense and used a late second-quarter scoring run to defeat No. 19 Rio Hondo. The Roadrunners trailed 13-8 after one quarter but were in a tight game at 21-19 with five minutes left in the second period. At that point, PCC went on a 13-5 scoring spurt capped by a basket by Ilianna Blanc to take a 34-24 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Lancers' guard Judith Espinoza scored 10 of her game-high 17 points as PCC kept its double-digit advantage at 52-40. Rio Hondo got as close as 58-50, but the Lancers defense held the Roadrunners to just four points in the final six minutes to seal the playoff victory.
Sophomore Bianca Garcia (Bell HS) totaled a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Roadrunners in her final contest. Sophomore Justine Manjarrez (Cantwell-Sacred Heart HS) also had 13 points while sophomore Alexis Hernandez (Bishop Amat HS) had 11 points and six rebounds. Also for Rio Hondo, sophomore Ashley Rendon (Nogales HS) grabbed 11 rebounds to go with eighth points.
The Roadrunners lose seven sophomores from this year's postseason squad. Beginning the fall of 2016, Rio Hondo will compete in the South Coast Conference.