It came down to the wire on Wednesday night in an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) showdown against the Cypress College Chargers on the road. After trailing the majority of the first half, Riverside roared back to take the lead in the second quarter and held an advantage throughout the final 19 minutes. A late-game surge by the Chargers threatened a potential victory for the Tigers, but clutch free throw shooting in the final minutes aided a 61-59 triumph.
Riverside was sluggish entering into the contest as they trailed for the majority of the first half. Despite the slow start that saw the Tiger down 11 points, they capped the half with a 13-3 run sealed with freshman guard Keylin Vance rising up and drilling a three pointer as time expired. Freshman guard Amir Davis assisted on the play to end the half with Cypress holding a one-point advantage at 28-27.
Riverside wasted no time in the second half as they took their second lead of the game after Davis dished a ball out to freshman guard Xavier Ford for a trey ball. From that point on, the lead continued to shift with no team holding an advantage larger than three points.
With under a minute remaining, Ford handed the Tiger's their largest lead of the game by draining another three ball to bring the score to 59-54. However, a pair of free throws and a three pointer from Cypress knotted the game at 59-all with just 18 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, freshman guard Edwyn Collins worked his way to the charity stripe in hopes to hand the Tigers a victory. He followed with ice in his veins by drilling the set thus handing Riverside a 61-59 win.
It was an evenly fought game with Riverside holding the edge on the shooting front as seen in a 40.8 percentage from the floor. This included a 38.1 three-point shooting percentage. They outrebounded the Chargers 39-29 and capitalized on Cypress' 10 turnovers. It led to 22 points for Riverside.
Freshman Zekiah LoVett lead the offensive charge with 16 points accompanied by a three rebounds and a pair of assists. Sophomore Darius Ware was two rebounds shy of a double-double by dropping 10 points and reeling in eight points.
Ford was strong in a starting role by scoring nine points and hauling in five rebounds. Collins led the bench in scoring with seven points and three rebounds.