It came down to an extra five minutes of overtime in Riverside's home opener during the first round of the Sixth Annual RCC "Earning Our Stripes" Tournament against the Cerritos College Falcons. After the Tigers could not capitalize at the charity stripe in the final 11 seconds of the contest, the Tigers geared up for a 13-2 run in the overtime period to defeat the Falcons 71-62.
Riverside found themselves down by three points with under 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Staring down the barrell of a three-point deficit, the Tigers worked themselves to the free throw line for four shots due to shooting foul and a technical foul called on the Falcons. However, they misfired on three of the four opportunities to put themselves within two of a tie.
Sophomore guard Trinity Vasquez, who made the lone free throw on the possession prior, was able to haul in an offensive rebound on the following possession and draw another foul to punch her ticket to the line once again. She knocked down both to tie the ball game at 59-all.
A Cerritos timeout advanced the ball on a timeout after the made bucket and barely missed a floater to win the game, sending the contest into overtime.
It was all Riverside in the final quarter as sophomore guard Vanessa Vargas located freshman guard Ariane Madlambayan down low for a tough two points. Cerritos would respond with a basket on the following possession, but the Tigers went on a 12-0 run to end the quarter fueled by freshman guard Le'Asia Gayle.
Gayle strung together quality minutes in overtime that saw her hit three-consecutive buckets leading to eight points and the victory. All eight of her points came in overtime. She started by flushing a mid-range jumper, backed by three-consecutive layups leading the the 72-61 win.
Vasquez paced the Tigers on offense with a double-double. She dropped 24 points and hauled in 12 rebounds while also adding four assists and two steals. Freshman forward Rebecca London chipped in 10 points and earned seven rebounds, while Vargas added nine points in a starting role.
Riverside (3-0) will advance in the winner's bracket and face off against the Bakersfield College Renegades at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 8.