Saddleback Avenges Second Loss; Wins, 69-56, at Riverside Thursday

Saddleback Avenges Second Loss; Wins, 69-56, at Riverside Thursday

RIVERSIDE -- The Saddleback College Gauchos made sure that there would be no repeat of what happened in the first round of Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action as they avenged their second loss of the season with a resounding 69-56 OEC win over the Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers men's basketball team Thursday night (Feb. 12) at RCC's legendary Arthur N. Wheelock Gymnasium.

Riverside (9-17, 4-7 OEC) upset the Gauchos in Mission Viejo, 51-48 (Jan. 21), but Saddleback (27-2, 10-1 OEC) never trailed Thursday. The Gauchos broke a 9-9 tie with an 8-0 run and led, 33-25, at halftime.

Earlier in the preconference season, Saddleback avenged a loss to San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) with a victory over SBVC.

At the onset of the second half, Saddleback began with a 15-0 run for a 48-25 lead barely six minutes into the final stanza and kept the Tigers at bay the rest of the way. The Gauchos made 29 of 45 free throws, including 22 of 31 in the final 20 minutes.

Freshman guard Dusty Baker (Tesoro HS) pumped in a game-high 24 points on six of 11 from the floor, including a pair of three-point baskets, and was ten of 12 on free throws. Sophomore guard Andrew Bournes (Moreno Valley / Rancho Verde HS) added 19 points

For Riverside, freshman guard Sage Woodruff (Los Angeles / Fairfax HS) led with 15 points and had three of the Tigers' four steals. Sophomore center Tom Folsom (Jurupa Valley / Patriot HS) added 14 points and six rebounds. Sophomore forward Taj Adams (Los Angeles / Fairfax HS) chipped in with seven points, four assists and a game-high ten rebounds. It was RCC's final home game of the regular season.

Both teams will have a bye next week, as well as one remaining OEC game. On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Saddleback will host the Orange Coast College Pirates at 5 p.m., while RCC will have a bye. On Friday, Feb. 20, RCC will visit the Santa Ana College Dons at 5 p.m. while Saddleback will have a bye.