WINCHESTER — What does 29-0 mean?

It means the top-ranked Umpqua Community College women’s basketball team completed an unbeaten regular season, something previous UCC teams have never accomplished.

It means the Riverhawks ran the table in the tough Northwest Athletic Conference South Region, winning all 16 of their games.

There was no major celebrating going on following Saturday’s 86-76 victory over No. 4 Clackamas, but the 10 sophomores stepped out at midcourt for a well-deserved curtain call.

After all, the big prize is still in front of the Riverhawks — an NWAC Tournament championship, something Umpqua hasn’t tasted since 2000.

“To tell you the truth, it means very little,” UCC coach Dave Stricklin said of the unblemished regular season. “It means we’ve played well and have been able to stay relatively healthy. Maybe we’ve been lucky at times and have had different people step up.

“It’s been fun, but there’s actually three seasons — the preseason (nonleague), league and postseason. The record has no bearing on what happens in March. Now we need to start completely over and see if we can win four more.”

Guard Cielo Gonzalez, one of the sophomores playing in the UCC gym for the final time, delivered a career-high 36 points against the Cougars (21-6, 11-5 South). The former Springfield High School star wasn’t feeling up to snuff, but hit four 3-pointers, converted 14 of 17 free throws, dished out seven assists, grabbed six rebounds and made two steals in 39 minutes.

“It was nice to have it here, especially in front of our home fans and my family,” Gonzalez said. “I still feel very sick, but I’m happy with my performance and the team’s performance. Maybe I need to be sick more often.

“I wanted to go out and sell out one last time here and leave it out on the floor.”

That she did, but the Riverhawks got some other notable performances.

Former Douglas High School standout Darian Mitchell and Sienna Riggle each contributed double-doubles. Mitchell had 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Riggle added 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Freshman Mariam Yaro came off the bench for 15 points and eight rebounds.

“It’s awesome (being 29-0). Losing sucks, and that’s something we haven’t had to experience (so far),” Riggle said. “A win is always a good way to end (the regular season), and we’re not done yet.”

“We have the same mindset of taking it game by game, and that’s a main part of why we’re 29-0,” Gonzalez said. “We don’t look ahead. We want to win and we’re all working hard for each other, and that’s why we’re so successful.”

Brooke Bullock turned in a solid game in defeat, leading Clackamas with 30 points and 18 rebounds.

“They’re really good,” Clackamas coach Jim Martineau, a Sutherlin High graduate, said of the Riverhawks. “They’re such a machine. Those 10 sophomores, they go through it with no emotion ... they just play and get after it. Grace (Campbell) is the driver of it.”

Campbell, who arguably has been UCC’s most valuable player this season, was injured with 3:12 remaining in the first quarter after making a layin and didn’t return. Stricklin was told it’s a lateral collateral meniscus sprain.

“To heal 100 percent, she needs two weeks off,” Stricklin said, “but we don’t have two weeks. A 75 percent Grace is better than the majority of people we play against.”

The Riverhawks will watch the NWAC Basketball Selection Show at 4 p.m. Sunday at Loggers Tap House and will learn who their opponent will be in the first round of the NWAC Tournament. The women’s tourney begins on Thursday at Everett Community College.

CLACKAMAS (76) — Brooke Bullock 13-17 3-4 30, Downer 1-8 0-0 2, Guelsdorf 5-13 3-7 15, Williams 2-5 0-2 4, Lyons 3-10 3-4 12, LaCounte 0-1 0-0 0, Gaskins 3-10 0-4 7, Duarte 1-5 0-0 2, Scanlan 0-0 0-0 0, Boese 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 29-70 11-23 76.

UMPQUA (86) — Cielo Gonzalez 9-19 14-17 36, Rincon 0-2 2-2 2, Campbell 3-4 0-0 6, Riggle 6-10 0-1 12, Mitchell 3-12 4-6 11, Boske 1-3 0-0 2, Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0, Maddern 0-0 0-0 0, Ortiz 0-0 0-0 0, Simons 0-2 2-2 2, Yaro 5-11 4-6 15. Totals 27-63 26-34 86.

Clackamas 16 11 20 29 — 76

Umpqua 29 13 24 20 — 86

3-Point Goals — CCC 7-28 (Lyons 3-9, Downer 0-2, Guelsdorf 2-5, Bullock 1-3, LaCounte 0-1, Gaskins 1-5, Duarte 0-3), UCC 6-25 (Gonzalez 4-9, Rincon 0-2, Campbell 0-1, Mitchell 1-5, Boske 0-2, Simons 0-2, Yaro 1-4). Total Fouls — CCC 22, UCC 21. Fouled Out — Gonzalez. Rebounds — CCC 30 (Bullock 18), UCC 50 (Mitchell 14). Assists — CCC 9 (Guelsdorf 5), UCC 14 (Gonzalez 7). Turnovers — CCC 14, UCC 23. Technicals — Clackamas coach Martineau.

Tom Eggers can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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Sports Editor

Tom Eggers is the sports editor for The News-Review. He can be reached at teggers@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4220.

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