Adesiji’s 21, Ward’s 18 Propels Riverside to Third-Straight Win

Photos by Cassandra Serrano
Photos by Cassandra Serrano

It was seen as a must-win game for the Tigers as they hit the road on Wednesday night to face off against the Santiago Canyon College Hawks in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action. After falling to the Hawks earlier in the season, Riverside leaned on a powerful second half that carted them to a six-point victory.

There were 17 lead changes in the game to go along with 10 ties to up the intensity of the contest. Four players landed in double digit scoring leading the Tigers' to their third-largest point total. In a stretch that has featured very clutch wins, a slower style of offense can attest to Riverside's offense prowess of late.  A 42.9 percent clip from long range helped the Tigers reach that point threshold.

Leading the way from distance was freshman guard Tomi Adesiji who came off the bench for a team-high 21 points. He went 4-for-6 from distance after taking over the point guard duties down the stretch. He was 6-for-8 from the hardwood and a flawless 5-for-5 from the charity stripe. His 21 buckets tied his career-high clip.

"They beat us last time, so we had to come to their house and take it from them," said Adesiji. "It was a big playoff type game and we were ready."

Adesiji took over the offense after sophomore point guard Courtland Moffatt was sidelined early due to injury. 

"Courtland went down after the first half, so we all had to step up and get it done."

Adesiji has held many roles. Whether its coming off the bench or being inserted into the starting lineup, his killer midset never waivers.

"My goal is to impact the game in any way possible - whether im playing 10 minutes or 30 minutes. As long as I'm helping the team win, then I'm perfect."

After being sidelined for the previous two games, freshman forward Reggie Ward returned to action and dropped a cool 18 points for his highest mark since late December. He has landed in double-digit scoring in six of the last seven games. Additionally, he swatted a career-high four shots and racked up seven boards.

Freshman guard Bryce Hall saw 19 minutes of action and flushed 13 points while dishing out a pair of assists. He was efficient by hitting five of the six shots he took; one being a triple.

Sophomore forward Lynden Paul and freshman guard Darius McClain combined for 20 points with an even split down the middle. They each had two rebounds, while McClain tallied an assist.

Riverside forced 14 turnovers and transformed them into 24 points. Additionally, they dominated paint play as over half of their points came in the paint.

The Tigers are currently tied for second place in the conference as they walk into a road showdown against the Orange Coast College Pirates this Friday.