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IVC end regular season with win

February 23, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

Heading into the postseason, the Imperial Valley College women's basketball team didn't really need to make much of a statement in its regular-season finale at home against Pacific Coast Conference rival Southwestern College.

What IVC did want, however, was a little momentum for its playoff run. With the way it beat up on Southwestern, thrashing it 86-42 Friday, it seemed as if the Arabs got all the momentum they needed.

"What we wanted more than anything was momentum from this game to carry us into the postseason," said IVC coach Jill Tucker. "Really, we didn't look at this game as our last regular season game. We looked at it as the beginning of the playoffs."

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That intensity showed as the Arabs dominated the Jaguars from top to bottom and, other than a late spurt by Southwestern, did whatever they wanted.

Showing its dominance on offense and defense, IVC held a 41-17 lead at halftime and didn't allow the visitors to score its 20th point until the 12-minute, 40-second point of the second half. At that point, the Arabs were up by 48.

Leading the IVC assault were sophomores Jenny Burgos, LaToya Jackson and Jello Moore, who were playing in their final regular-season home game of their IVC careers. Of the team's 86 total points scored, the three combined for 54, led by Burgos with 20.

"As a sophomore, I wanted to finish the (regular) season with a win so we could have some momentum going into the postseason," said Burgos, who also had two rebounds, two steals and an assist.

"A game like this really gets us going. We know that we're going to face some really tough teams in the playoffs and what we did tonight, we're hoping to do in the playoffs," Burgos said.

Along with Burgos, Jackson finished with 18 points, five steals, two rebounds and two assists and Moore had a double-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and two steals.

"We really did look at this like it was the playoffs, so it was real important that we got this win," said Jackson. "We didn't want to go in with a loss."

Also contributing were future leaders of the team, freshmen Marquita Travis and Melissa Williams. Travis finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals and Williams added 13 points, eight rebounds and two steals.

While the game was the final regular-season home game for IVC, it was a homecoming of sorts for Southwestern's Taniesha Lawson of El Centro, a 2001 graduate from Central Union High School. Lawson led the Jaguars with 21 points.

"It was good to play out here because I was able to play in front of my family and friends. In San Diego, I really don't have that much family out there," said Lawson, a freshman at Southwestern. "This has been a pretty shaky year for the team because we have mostly freshmen on the team. But for me, things have been pretty easy and have gone good."

With the win, IVC finishes the regular season with a 22-7 overall record, a four-win improvement from last year's 18-win season, and 8-2 in the PCC, finishing in second place behind San Diego Mesa, who handed the Arabs both PCC losses.

"Depending on where we're seeded, I think we'll do pretty good in the playoffs," said Tucker. "Our main goal is still to make it state. That's what we have our sights set on."

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