Rio Hondo College and Mt. San Antonio College faced each other for the first time since the Roadrunners' upset win over the previously No. 1 state-ranked Mounties in the championship game of the season-opening Mt. SAC Tip Off Classic. Rio Hondo appeared to be on its way to a repeat performance but couldn't hold a fourth-quarter lead and suffered a 66-57 loss in Walnut on Wednesday night.
Unlike last time, Wednesday's game counted in the South Coast Conference North Division standings. The loss dropped No. 15 Southern California-ranked Rio Hondo to 14-11 overall and 1-4 in the SCC North while No. 4 Mt. SAC moved to 18-6 and 4-1.
Trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter, Rio Hondo jumped out in front by outscoring the Mounties 20-9 in the second to take a 31-21 lead at halftime. But Mt. SAC caught fire late in the third while Rio Hondo went cold.
Mariah Rivera's jumper at the 1:40 mark in the third quarter extended the Roadrunners' lead to 48-41. From that point, it was all Mt. SAC. A 12-0 Mounties run carried over into the final period, pushing Mt. SAC in front for good at 53-48 with six minutes to play. Mt. SAC outscored Rio Hondo 20-9 in the fourth to secure an emotional come-from-behind win.
Amy Navarro had a big game underneath for Rio Hondo, as she led the Roadrunners with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Kailey Gutierrez added 12 points while Candace Black came close to a double-double with 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Rio Hondo will look to snap a two-game losing streak on Friday (Feb. 8) when the Roadrunners travel to face No. 6 Pasadena City College in a 7 p.m. SCC North Division game.