They did it again.

The Umpqua Community College women’s basketball team beat Lane for the second time this season with another comeback Monday night to end the regular season.

The No. 4-ranked Riverhawks scored the game’s last 13 points, capped off by a Darian Mitchell layup with just more than five seconds left, and stunned the No. 1 Titans 79-78 in a Northwest Athletic Conference South Region game at the LCC gym in Eugene.

Umpqua (25-4, 14-2 South) earned a share of the league title and claimed the South’s No. 1 seed for the NWAC Championships, which begin this weekend in Everett, Washington.

The Riverhawks have won or shared three straight league championships and finished first in five of the last six seasons.

“It means a lot,” UCC guard Taylor Stricklin said of getting a piece of the league crown. “It’s exciting for all of us. There are some girls on this team who haven’t won a championship before.”

Umpqua swept the season series with Lane (26-3, 14-2). The Riverhawks overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the Titans, 91-87, at home in the first meeting.

“You always know it’s going to be a battle (with Lane),” UCC coach Dave Stricklin said. “The girls didn’t give up. To be down 12 points in the last five minutes to a team that good, it would’ve been easy to mentally check out. To be able to grind out a win, I couldn’t be happier for the girls.”

Mitchell, a Douglas High product, finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds for a double-double. Taylor Stricklin, the NWAC’s leading scorer, had 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Cielo Gonzalez added 18 points and four assists off the bench.

Gonzalez converted 8 of 10 free throws.

Reserve Grace Campbell chipped in seven points and 11 rebounds for UCC, which shot 42 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers. The Riverhawks outrebounded Lane, 40-33.

Kylie Guelsdorf led the Titans with 21 points, 12 assists and three steals. Kalina Rojas had 18 points and Meagan Briggs contributed 15. The Titans missed 21 of 23 3-point attempts.

It didn’t look good for Umpqua, which trailed 78-66 with 5:22 left in the contest.

But the Riverhawks kept the heat on, cutting the deficit to 78-77 on a 3-pointer by Gonzalaz with 41 seconds left.

Umpqua took the lead on an inbounds play that the team used for the first time this season. The Riverhawks had two players intentionally run into each other, meant to distract the Titans. It worked, as Mitchell snuck free for a basket.

Guelsdorf missed a running shot in the closing seconds.

“It was a very intense game,” Taylor Stricklin said. “We got some stops down the stretch and were able to convert on offense.”

The Riverhawks will meet North Idaho (20-8), the No. 4 seed from the East, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Everett Community College.

Lane faces Walla Walla (20-9), the East’s No. 3 team, at 4 p.m.

UMPQUA (79) — Darian Mitchell 11-20 0-0 22, Riggle 2-4 0-0 4, Stricklin 7-19 2-2 20, Reinen 0-3 0-0 0, Woodard 4-7 0-0 8, Gilbert 0-0 0-0 0, Campbell 2-4 3-4 7, Gonzalez 4-15 8-10 18. Totals 30-73 13-16 79.

LANE (78) — Kylie Guelsdorf 8-12 5-7 21, Rojas 9-15 0-0 18, Briggs 7-8 1-4 15, Still 4-13 0-2 8, Fossen 3-9 0-0 7, Jones 1-7 0-0 2, Thomas 2-9 2-4 7, Tobey 0-0 0-0 0, Carrier 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-74 8-17 78.

Umpqua 26 20 14 19 — 79

Lane 28 19 19 12 — 78

3-Point Goals — UCC 6-23 (Stricklin 4-11, Reinen 0-1, Mitchell 0-1, Gonzalez 2-10), LCC 2-23 (Thomas 1-5, Guelsdorf 0-2, Still 0-7, Fossen 1-6, Jones 0-2, Carrier 0-1). Total Fouls — UCC 16, LCC 17. Fouled Out — Briggs. Rebounds — UCC 40 (Mitchell 15), LCC 33 (Briggs 7). Assists — UCC 16 (Stricklin, Gonzalez 4), LCC 19 (Guelsdorf 12). Turnovers — UCC 21, LCC 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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