Women’s Basketball: Black 26 points leads Rio Hondo to win over East Los Angeles

Women’s Basketball: Black 26 points leads Rio Hondo to win over East Los Angeles

Sophomore Candace Black scored a career-high 26 points to help lead the Rio Hondo College women's basketball team to a 75-65 South Coast Conference North Division win over visiting East Los Angeles College on Friday in both teams' regular-season finale.

Rio Hondo finished in second place in the SCC North Division at 5-3 and is 20-8 overall as the team awaits its postseason position for the upcoming Southern California Regional Playoffs.

The Roadrunners fell behind early, getting in an 8-2 hole to open the game but was down by one, 14-13, at the end of the first quarter. Late in the second, a pair of free throws by Kailey Gutierrez gave Rio Hondo a 32-31 lead. Amanda Lee made a layup before the halftime buzzer, sending the Roadrunners into the locker room up 34-31.

Rio Hondo held the lead until midway in the fourth. East Los Angeles opened the period with a 10-0 run to tie up the game at 51-51. With the score locked up again at 53-53, Sally Smith hit a three-pointer and Jennyfer Morales made a layup to give the Roadrunners some room at 58-53 with 4:51 to play. It was a lead that they wouldn't give up.

Morales was big off the bench, scoring 11 points with 5 rebounds. Smith had a good game with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals while Amy Navarro was huge on defense with 14 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Lee chipped in with 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The Southern California Regional Playoff bracket will be announced on Sunday at the SoCal Postseason Coaches Meeting. Rio Hondo is expected to make the field for the second consecutive year under head coach Rene Herrera.