The Irvine Valley women's basketball team had its chances, but came up a little short in a 67-63 Orange Empire Conference loss to Fullerton Wednesday night at home.
The game featured two of the three teams tied for first place in conference. With the win, Fullerton remained in first place and improved its record to 16-7 overall and 5-1 in conference.
Irvine Valley slipped to 13-11 overall and 4-2 in conference. IVC trailed, 34-22, at halftime, but came roaring back in the second half and took the lead at 44-43 on a lay-up by sophomore forward Jackie Fa'asamala with 7:43 to play.
IVC went up, 48-45, on a four-point play (three-pointer and free throw) by sophomore forward Megan Blackwell with 6:31 left.
And a lay-up by freshman forward Shomari McCorkle with 4:15 to go gave IVC a 53-50 advantage.
Fullerton came right back with four straight points off baskets by Alexandra Coleman-Thomas and Carlisha Phillips to go ahead, 54-53.
A lay-up by freshman guard Amber Wharton put IVC back in front, 55-54, with 1:58 to play.
Fullerton missed a shot and then turned the ball over on its next two possessions. And then Blackwell was fouled shooting a three-pointer with 16 seconds to play. She missed the first, but made the next two to give Irvine Valley a 57-54 lead.
Fullerton tied the game on a banked in three-pointer by Phillips with three seconds left and the game went to overtime. Irvine Valley scored the first four points of overtime and later held a 63-59 lead with 3:11 to play after a lay-up by McCorkle, but the Lasers didn't score again.
The Lasers missed their final eight shots from the field in the overtime period. Fullerton tied it at 63-63 on a basket inside by Chanel Benson and then took the lead for good at 65-63 on a jumper by Phillips with 1:00 left. Fullerton shot just 35.6 percent from the field (26 of 73) for the game, but out-rebounded IVC 51-38, including 22-10 on the offensive glass.
Irvine Valley shot 41.9 percent (26 of 62) for the game.
Fullerton was paced by Coleman-Thomas with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Phillips with 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Benson with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
IVC was led by Wharton with 19 points, McCorkle with 15 points and Blackwell with 13 points.
Irvine Valley has its bye in conference on Friday and hosts Santa Ana at 5:30 to begin the second round of conference play next Wednesday.