WINCHESTER — The Riverhawks got some redemption on Saturday against the only team that’s beaten them in Northwest Athletic Conference South Region play this season.

Third-ranked Umpqua let a big lead against No. 6 Mt. Hood slip away down the stretch, but held on for a 78-70 women’s basketball victory in the UCC gym.

The Riverhawks (20-3, 9-1 South) won their ninth straight game and moved into a tie with No. 1 Lane (21-2, 9-1) for first place in the league race. The Titans’ home game with Clark Saturday was postponed due to the weather.

Taylor Stricklin scored 17 of her game-high 25 points in the first half for Umpqua. The sophomore guard, who starred at Sutherlin High, hit five of her seven 3-point field goals in the opening 20 minutes.

Douglas High product Darian Mitchell added her 16th double-double of the season for the Riverhawks, finishing with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Cielo Gonzalez came off the bench to contribute 18 points, nine assists and three steals.

The Saints (17-7, 8-3) knocked off UCC 78-72 in Gresham in the league opener on Jan. 5.

“We were all very motivated. We wanted to win,” Mitchell said. “We should’ve won the first time, we didn’t play well at all up there. We knew we had to get back what they took from us.”

Umpqua took control in the second quarter, building a 14-point lead before settling for a 39-28 advantage at intermission.

The Riverhawks looked in prime position to close the game out after Taylor Stricklin converted a 3-pointer to give them a 74-53 cushion with 6:10 left in the fourth quarter.

But Mt. Hood came alive, capitaliziing on some Umpqua turnovers and cut the deficit down to six at 76-70 after Rachel Watson scored on a layup with 55 seconds remaining.

Gonzalez wrapped up the win with a pair of free throws with 33.3 seconds to go.

“We just got lazy on defense,” Mitchell said. “A lot of us were getting tired.”

The Riverhawks held the Saints to 40 percent field-goal shooting and outrebounded them 45-29 despite being undersized.

“I thought our defense was really, really good until the last two minutes,” UCC coach Dave Stricklin said.

“We got complacent at the end. That’s kind of been the attitude of our team. As soon as it looks like a team we should beat or the game’s in our hands, we kind of relax. We’ve got to play for 40 minutes.”

Sienna Riggle chipped in eight points and six rebounds for Umpqua.

Madison Allen led the Saints with 12 points. Tasha Beckett added 10 points and eight boards.

Mt. Hood held a 22-10 edge in points off turnovers.

“They play hard. They’re deep and can play inside-outside which makes it tough,” Dave Stricklin said. “I thought we could’ve done a lot better on the boards. We gave up too many offensive rebounds.”

The Riverhawks will host Southwestern Oregon (7-15, 2-9) at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Lakers lost 82-77 to Clackamas Saturday in Coos Bay.

MT. HOOD (70) — Madison Allen 5-11 0-0 12, Ellett 3-12 0-0 8, Jackson 3-11 1-2 9, Pritchard 4-7 2-3 11, Watson 2-3 2-2 6, Boske 2-7 1-2 6, Rosales 1-5 0-0 2, E. Webber 3-3 0-4 6, Beckett 5-11 0-0 10. Totals 28-70 7-19 70.

UMPQUA (78) — Taylor Stricklin 9-19 0-1 25, Riggle 3-6 2-2 8, Reinen 1-1 0-0 2, Woodard 3-8 0-1 6, Mitchell 7-16 2-4 17, Campbell 1-2 0-0 2, Gonzalez 5-13 5-6 18. Totals 29-65 9-14 78.

Mt. Hood 15 13 17 25 — 70

Umpqua 17 22 17 22 — 78

3-Point Goals — M.H. 7-19 (Ellett 2-4, Allen 2-5, Jackson 1-2, Pritchard 1-2, Boske 1-5, Rosales 0-1), UCC 11-27 (Stricklin 7-15, Woodard 0-1, Mitchell 1-2, Gonzalez 3-9). Total Fouls — M.H. 15, UCC 9. Rebounds — M.H. 29 (Beckett 8), UCC 45 (Mitchell 19). Assists — M.H. 9 (Ellett, Rosales 2), UCC 22 (Gonzalez 9). Turnovers — M.H. 11, UCC 15.

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

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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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