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    Bria Thames helps lead UCC to their third title in four years. Corden Drift/Mainstream

UCC women win 3rd title in 4 years, defeat Clark 78-41

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Forward Bria Thames drives to the basket after using the crossover move.

UCC iced the Clark Penguins 78-41 Wednesday, Feb. 22 in Roseburg, Oregon. The Riverhawks added another accomplishment to their long list of achievements by earning their third regional championship in four years and extending their current win streak to 14 games.

The UCC women look incredibly fun to watch, even in warmups. The Riverhawks have developed a strong chemistry through laughter and friendly competition, continuing to improve as a team one day at a time.

“The goal is to just keep getting a little better every day,” head coach Dave Stricklin said. “The girls love to play the game, and they love to play together,” Stricklin continued. “It doesn’t really matter who we play. Every game is important because it’s one more chance that we all get to compete together.”

Valuable contributions were made from the whole team offensively and defensively against Clark. UCC had only two players who didn’t score, one of whom did not participate in the game. The women limited Clark to one total basket in the entire second quarter and finished the first half with a 44-18 lead.

UCC didn’t lose their grit after the halftime break, and collectively, the team continued to stifle Clark’s offense.  Clark again could not find any consistency and scored only six total points in the third frame. The Riverhawks claimed a 59-24 lead heading into the final quarter.

Clark then found a little life in the fourth frame by scoring 17 points in comparison to UCC’s 19 points, but by then it was already too late, and the Riverhawks sealed the victory and earned the Southern Region championship.

Forward Daisy Powell led the team in scoring with 25 total points on 11 of 14 shooting. Forward Bria Thames displayed her all-around game totaling 17 points on 50 percent shooting from the field while also grabbing nine total rebounds and passing out four assists.

Forward Jordan Stotler didn’t have her best shooting night (6-17 FG), but followed up her triple double performance against Lane on Wednesday, Feb. 15 with a near quadruple double, scoring 15 total points, securing 21 total rebounds, dishing out eight assists, and six blocks defensively.  Shots weren’t falling for Stotler, yet she found other ways to impact the game by rebounding, passing, and playing stout defense.

With the Southern Region title under their belt, The Riverhawks turn their focus to their next game against the Clackamas Cougars on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Oregon City.

“It sounds cliché, but this team really has taken just one game at a time,” Stricklin said. “There wasn’t any mention of being Southern Region champs, and I’ve never heard any one mention the playoffs at all,” Stricklin explained. “We’ve got another game Saturday, and that’s where all our focus will be.”

With the spotlight on UCC, Riverhawks guard Tasia Bilbrew still exuberates confidence moving forward. “I’ve got a great feeling. We’re so determined and focused,” Bilbrew said. “We’re taking everything one step and one day at a time, taking every opportunity to get better and improve.”

UCC will look to continue their win streak to 15 games against Clackamas which has only been accomplished once in UCC’s women’s basketball history. UCC’s first 15-game win streak came in the 2008-09 season with one of those wins coming by forfeit.

The Riverhawks extended their win streak to 15 games after defeating the Clackamas Cougars 96-65 Saturday, Feb. 25 in Oregon City. Forwards Bria Thames, Daisy Powell, and Jordan Stotler all scored at least 20 points in the match-up. Thames scored 26 points on 53 percent shooting. Both Powell and Stotler shot an efficient 69 percent from the field, with Powell scoring 23 points, while Stotler scored 20 points.

UCC will now play the Chemeketa Storm on Wednesday, March 1 at home in the final game of the season before entering the Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament which starts on Thursday, March 9 in Everett, Washington. The tournament will be held at the Walt Price Student Fitness Center located at 2206 Tower Street in Everett.