Golden West’s Julie Murdent, with plenty of support from her teammates, helped Golden West open an 18-point lead in the first half en route to a 75-59 victory over Cypress in an Orange Empire Conference women’s basketball game Wednesday at Golden West.

Murdent scored 16 points in the first half as the Rustlers, the seventh-ranked team in the State, countered Cypress’ Sara Works, who had 19 points in the first half. Golden West led at the break, 42-24, with the difference being balanced scoring--seven Golden West players scored besides Murdent.

Works got help from one teammate--Janet Neuman, who had five first-half points.

Cypress, the 10th-ranked team in the state, spread the scoring around in the second half but it was too late.


The victory gives Golden West (18-5, 3-0 in conference) an one-game lead over Cypress (16-7, 2-1). Besides beating Cypress, Golden West has defeated Orange Coast and Saddleback, the other two teams that figure to challenge the Rustlers for the conference title.

Works, who leads the State in scoring at 28.7 points, was held to nine points in the second second half and finished with 29 points. She set the Cypress single-season scoring record with 655 points. She passed her mark of 650 set last season.

“I thought our defense did a really good job (in the second half),” Golden West Coach Dick Stricklin said. “That was a big game for both teams. Our players were a little tight at first but they loosened up.”

Murdent finished with 25 points and Katie Miner added 12. Farrah Magee, Deana Itow and Nicole Quinn had 10 each for Golden West. Works was the only Cypress player in double figures.


In other conference games:

Orange Coast 56, Saddleback 50--Orange Coast (15-7, 1-1) scored the final six points of the game--four by Tina Afan--for the road victory. Afan, starting in place of Flo Luppani, who is out at least a week with a knee injury, finished ith 11 points. She scored with 1:03 left to put OCC head, 52-50. She added two free throws and America Robledo (12 points) added a lay-in as time ran out.

Nicole Zuniga had 13 for Saddleback (10-7, 1-2).

Fullerton 67, Rancho Santiago 50--Krista McDonald and Lacey Sollie had 15 each for Fullerton (11-10, 1-1).