The Riverside City College men's basketball team has worked through youthful growing pains early in the season as seen in a two games below .500 recordeentering into the final day of the 2019 Riverside Holiday Classic presented by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The Tigers hosted the Mt. San Jacinto College Eagles this afternoon and went blow-for-blow, but late game free throw shooting was the difference leading to a 69-66 victory.
The game was ultimately won at the charity stripe as the Tigers let an early 16-point advantage slip away. Offensive rebounds kept the Eagles within striking distance as they out boarded the Tigers 42-34 on the night. This led to 22 second-chance points as opposed to Riverside's nine.
Despite the poor play down low, the Tigers took advantage of points off turnovers en route to a stronger shooting percentage. They bucketed 17 points off MSJC's turnovers which contributed to a 46.9 shooting mark.
Freshman guard Amir Davis was named to the All-Tournament Team after seeing the court for 28 minutes off of the bench. He finsihed with seven points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. In the two loses prior, he combined for seven points, 12 rebounds, four steals and six assists.
Freshman point guard Melvin Walker was the Eagle's grim reaper at the charity stripe by working his way to the line four times in the final five minutes of the game. He went 7-for-8 from the stripe down the stretch and 8-for-11 overall. He only took one shot from the floor, but recorded four assists.
Three players landed in double digits with freshman guard Edwyn Collins pacing the squad with 14 points. All of his buckets came inside the arc due in part to squeezing through the lane with crafty handles. He went 7-for-17 from the floor to go along with six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
Freshman guard Sammy Richardson earned 12 points off of an efficient 6-for-9 mark, while freshman guard Zekiah Lovett knocked down 13 points off of the pine. Lovett hit a game-high four three balls.
Freshman guard Kevin Nze Mba contributed solid minutes with six points and five rebounds as well.
Riverside (5-6) will continue action on the road Saturday, December 14 in a rematch against the Mt. San Jacinto College Eagles (3-8) at 1 p.m.