Last Second Block, Clean Second-Half Offense Leads Tigers Past Chargers

Photos by Cassandra Serrano
Photos by Cassandra Serrano

It was a tied score with just over a minute remaining in the game as the Riverside City College men's basketball team sought out revenge against the Cypress College Chargers. After falling to the Chargers on the road in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) opener, the Tigers put together a late-game push after trailing seven at halftime to work their way to a two-point victory.

The Chargers extended their lead to 10 points three minutes into the second half after hitting a three pointer. From then on, Riverside began to mount a comeback.

Both teams traded buckets featuring a jumper from freshman guard Tomi Adesiji and sophomore forward Lyden Paul. Paul followed two possessions later with a successful and-one play that brought Riverside to within two just after the halfway point.

Sophomore guard Jalen Monroe followed by tying the score up at 43-all with a strong drive to the lane, while Paul backed him with a jumper to gain a two-point lead; their first lead since the 11 minute mark in the first half.

Cypress remained steadfast in their approach by grabbing ahold of the lead once again with approximately six minutes left, but the Tigers roared back to take it back compliments of a layup from sophomore point guard Courtland Moffatt. He drew a foul, but missed the free throw. 

Despite surrendering the lead once again with just over a minute left, Adesiji took matters into his own hands as he drove the baseline on the ensuing possession with the shot clocking ticking down to two seconds. He gathered his dribble and beat the shot clock by laying the ball up and in with his right hand on the near side.

Cypress had a chance to tie the game up on the opposite end, but the Tigers corralled a loose ball that found the hands of Moffatt who promptly found Monroe on the far end of the court. He flushed it home for a two point advantage eventually leading to a victory.

The Chargers made things interesting by stealing the inbound play o the final seconds of the game to try and tie the game, but Adesiji rose up and swatted the ball away to secure the victory.

Freshman guard Darius McClain was the leading scorer with 11 points and hit some key pull up jumpers throughout the entire contest despite a slow start.

"We had to come back and get the win," said McClain. "We lost to them at their place, so we had to beat them here."

The Tigers move into a tie for second place with the victory with the momentum trending upwards.

"We locked in as a team tonight. We were down from the start in the second half, but we locked in and didn't let them score."

Riverside played a clean second half as they did not turn the ball over once time after committing eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Furthermore, they shot 49 percent from the floor with 30 points coming in the paint.

Paul was a huge contributor by dropping 10 points and hauling in five rebounds. He added three assists as well. Monroe finished with 11 points and eight rebounds, while freshman guard Isaiah Thomas and Adesiji dropped 10 points each.