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COMMUNITY COLLEGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL : Saddleback Squeaks by Riverside to Remain Unbeaten

Saddleback, which had been defeating teams by an average of 33 points this season, won by the narrowest of margins Wednesday.

LaShieka Henderson made a free throw with no time left to give Saddleback a 70-69 victory over host Riverside in an Orange Empire Conference women’s game.

Saddleback (20-0, 7-0 in conference) has a two-game lead at the halfway point.

“We were lucky to get out of here with a victory,” Saddleback Coach Jack Single said.

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It was tied, 69-69, when Saddleback, ranked second in the state, missed four shots inside the key and Riverside (19-7, 4-3) finally got the rebound with 13 seconds left.

After a timeout, Riverside moved the ball upcourt and inside to forward Alicia Rubio, who had 26 points, 19 of which came in the second half.

Rubio missed once, got the rebound and Cha-ron Walker blocked her second try. The ball bounced out and Henderson got it and was fouled by Raquel Ruff.

Henderson got a welcomed chance to relax when Riverside protested that the clock ran out before the foul.

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Henderson then stepped to the line and made a perfect swish.

“I was crying I was so nervous,” she said. “The game before last I was zero for six. . . . But I had nothing to lose because Coach kept telling me that we would just go to overtime if I missed.”

Henderson finished with 13 points and Maureen Skehan had 12 points and eight steals.

Cheryl Dickson and Shanna Renken had 10 each for the Gauchos.

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