The Orange Coast College men’s basketball team came out fighting against the Riverside College Tigers on Friday night at Basil H. Peterson Gym, but it was the Tigers who found a way to outlast the Pirates 96-77.
It was an emotional night with it being the first game that the Pirates had played following the death of OCC baseball coach, John Altobelli.
At the start of the game both teams paid heir respects and took a 24-second shot clock violation honoring fallen NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s number.
Coast was led by its two standout players, freshman guard Myles Woods who had 24 points, four assists and five rebounds, and sophomore guard Jonathan Ileleji racked up 26 points shooting (7-15) from beyond the arc.
For RCC, point guard Melvin Walker shined in this contest leading his team by posting a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.
It was a tough game for OCC considering they only had six active players on their roster compared to RCC with 12. The Tigers quickly got up on the outmanned Pirates getting out to an 18-11 lead, eight minutes into the game.
RCC was getting what they wanted shooting over 60 percent (23-for-38) from the field in the first half, compared to the Pirates who shot just 27 percent (8-for-29). The Tigers led the Pirates 54-20 after the first 20 minutes of play came to a close.
Coast started the second half with a different starting lineup.
Coach Steve Spencer decided to sit his leading scorer in the first half Ileleji for freshman guard Jay Yu, the only player who was available off of the bench. The Pirates got outscored 20-4 during the first six minutes of the second half.
It was an exhausting night for the Pirates who had five out of their six players on the court for more than 33 minutes.
With seven minutes left in the game the Pirates started to catch some type of momentum going on an 8-0 run. The Tigers weren’t phased though as they kept a double digit lead for the rest of the game.
OCC falls to (3-19) on the season and (0-10) in the conference. The Pirates' next game is an away contest against Saddleback College Wednesday at 5 p.m. where they look to bounce back from their nine-game losing streak.