The Tigers found themselves down by one point with five seconds remaining in the contest against the Santa Ana College Dons in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action. After the Don's made the second of two free throws on the ensuing possession, freshman guard Edwyn Collins drove the nail and missed a game-winning layup by centimeters. While the Tigers seemed to be staring down the barrel of inevitable defeat, sophomore center Justin Motely came to the rescue.
Motely, who was having a monstrous game, flew to the rim with one second left on the clock and tipped in the game winning shot as the buzzer sounded. The bucket handed Riverside a 61-60 victory.
It was a back and forth affair throughout the entire game until the Dons snagged a 13-point lead with under four minutes remaining. Despite the deficit, the Tigers worked to cut the Don's lead to three by sparking a 10-0 run leading into the second half. Freshman guard Zekiah LoVett kicked off the run with four-point play. Motely followed with a layup and a set of free throws on two-consecutive possessions. Freshman point guard Melvin Walker capped the run with a buzzer-beating jumper.
LoVett handed the Tigers their first lead of the game just two minutes into the second half with a jumper. From then on, it was a back and forth affair. Motely continued to highlight the efforts on the glass as he hauled in a strong offensive board and threw it down with authority approaching the halfway mark.
After the game was knotted up at 44 all, the Dons began to take control as seen in a five-point advantage with six minutes remaining. A free throw from freshman guard Edwyn Collins tied the game up with a minute remaining, but a Santa Ana answer handed them another two-point lead.
Despite the deficit, the Motely tip in handed Riverside the 61-60 advantage.
LoVett finished with a team-high 19 points to go along with a pair of rebounds. Motely was the catalyst to the victory as seen in 14 points and 11 boards earning him a double-double. He also swatted five shots and pocketed two steals.
Collins bucketed seven points and hauled in four rebounds, while Walker finished with eight points, three rebounds and two assists.
Riverside (15-8, 10-1 OEC) will continue action against the Orange Coast on the road at 7 p.m.