WINCHESTER — After a high-scoring first half which produced 100 points, the Umpqua Community College women’s basketball team tightened the screws defensively over the final 20 minutes against Clackamas on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 7-ranked Riverhawks limited the Cougars to 25 points, and Darian Mitchell and Taylor Stricklin led the way offensively in a 95-73 victory in a Northwest Athletic Conference South Region game in the UCC gym.
The win completed a 2-0 week for Umpqua (13-3, 2-1 South), which defeated Linn-Benton 85-68 Wednesday.
Mitchell, a redshirt freshman post out of Douglas High in Winston, notched another double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds. She had 14 points and seven boards in the second half.
Taylor Stricklin, the team’s lone sophomore, added 26 points — 16 coming in the second half — and seven rebounds. The all-league guard, who starred at Sutherlin High, hit four 3-pointers and converted all six of her free-throw attempts.
Clackamas (6-6, 2-1) shot .346 (9-for-26) from the field in the last two quarters and committed 12 of its 17 turnovers in the second half. The Cougars, the NWAC’s top 3-point shooting team, missed 16 of 19 shots beyond the arc in the contest.
Among the positive numbers for the Riverhawks: They outrebounded Clackamas 49-23 and only turned the ball over eight times.
“I think our defense was a big difference (in the second half),” Taylor Stricklin said. “If you’re not getting the stops that you need you’re never going to get a substantial lead. We were playing good and were really disciplined, and that led to offense.”
The Riverhawks also got a double-double from Sienna Riggle, who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds. She was 7-for-7 from the charity stripe.
Lexi Woodard contributed 10 points before fouling out, Macie Reinen chipped in eight points, six assists and three steals, and Cielo Gonzalez came off the bench for nine points, five assists and four steals.
“That was a huge win,” Riggle said. “We were prepared, worked so hard and came out the way we wanted to play. We talked about how we needed to outrebound them ... have more steals and more possessions so we could run and play our game.”
The Riverhawks defeated Clackamas 102-99 back in late November at the Clackamas Thanksgiving Invitational.
“The second half (today) was a little different because they got into foul trouble and weren’t at full strength,” Umpqua coach Dave Stricklin said. “The thing we were looking at was how many 3s are we going to give up? They hit 17 threes (in the first meeting) and we knew we had to limit that.
“They only made one 3 in the second half. That’s as good of defense as we’ve played all year.”
CJ Buckley led the Cougars with 19 points before fouling out. Paige Downer added 16 points.
“We weren’t as consistent offensively and got a couple of girls in foul trouble,” said Clackamas coach Jim Martineau, rehashing the second half. “They (Riverhawks) did a better job in the third quarter. You’re not going to beat anybody shooting 4-for-14 and we didn’t rebound very well.
“(Darian) Mitchell’s tough, she’s a load down there. I’m OK giving 27 to her, but then you can’t give Taylor (Stricklin) 26. We did a decent job on her in the first half, but lost her five or six times (in the second half) and made some bad decisions defensively.”
For the second consecutive game, the Riverhawks had Reinen and Woodard in the starting lineup with Taylor Stricklin, Mitchell and Riggle. Reinen, out of Sheldon High in Eugene, became eligible at the start of January.
“(The new lineup) gives everyone else a challenge now,” Taylor Stricklin said. “It’s created some competition, made practice more physical and game-like.”
“We’re just mixing things up to get off to a little better start,” Dave Stricklin said. “I thought we were good. Cielo (Gonzalez) came off the bench and did a great job, and Lexi (Woodard) gives us another post threat. Macie (Reinen) is aggressive and quick, and handles the ball. She’s hard to match up with man to man.”
The Riverhawks travel to Coos Bay Wednesday to meet Southwestern Oregon (5-10, 0-4). Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
“We’re at the point now where every game is a big one,” Taylor Stricklin said. “We can’t get comfortable.”
CLACKAMAS (75) — CJ Buckley 8-12 3-7 19, Gaskins 5-11 0-0 11, Downer 7-13 2-4 16, Duarte 3-12 0-0 8, Williams 4-9 4-4 12, Jensen 0-2 0-0 0, Elliott 0-4 7-8 7, Hilton 0-0 0-0 0, Barden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-63 16-23 75.
UMPQUA (93) — Darian Mitchell 13-23 1-2 27, Riggle 3-8 7-7 13, Stricklin 8-12 6-6 26, Reinen 4-14 0-0 8, Woodard 4-11 1-2 10, Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0, Campbell 1-3 0-0 2, Gonzalez 3-8 1-2 9. Totals 36-79 16-19 95.
Clackamas 20 28 12 13 — 73
Umpqua 26 26 22 21 — 95
3-Point Goals — CCC 3-19 (Gaskins 1-5, Downer 0-3, Buckley 0-1, Duarte 2-5, Jensen 0-2, Elliott 0-3), UCC 7-23 (Stricklin 4-7, Reinen 0-5, Woodard 1-5, Mitchell 0-3, Gonzalez 2-3). Total Fouls — CCC 20, UCC 22. Fouled Out — Buckley, Williams, Woodard. Rebounds — CCC 23 (Buckley, Duarte 5), UCC 49 (Mitchell 13). Assists — CCC 6 (Gaskins, Downer 2), UCC 19 (Reinen 6). Turnovers — CCC 17, UCC 8.