RIVERSIDE – Leading from the first field goal, the host Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers men's basketball team built several double-digit leads, but led by only one point at halftime en route to a 95-82 Orange Empire Conference (OEC) win over the visiting Santa Ana College Dons Wednesday evening (Jan. 11) at historic Arthur N. Wheelock Gymnasium.
Riverside (15-4, 2-0 in OEC) sprinted to leads of 6-0, 9-2 and 16-4 (with 16:35 left in the opening stanza), but the Dons soon made a game of it as RCC led only, 51-50, at halftime. Freshman guard Andre Wilson (Jurupa Valley – Patriot HS) pumped in 14 (four three-pointers) of his co-game-high-tying 23 points in the first half.
In the second half, RCC went on a modest 11-1 run in the first three minutes for a 62-52 lead. Midway through the second half, Riverside built its biggest lead at 77-62 with 9:10 to play. But Santa Ana (5-14 overall, 0-3 OEC) continued to be pesky as it drew to within, 83-80, with 3:17 left in the game before the Tigers closed the period with a 12-2 run.
In addition to Wilson's 23 points, freshman guard Brae Ivey popped in 20 points and backcourt mate, freshman guard Brandon Thomas (Woodland Hills – Taft HS), added 17. RCC freshman forward William "Frankie" McQuay (Moreno Valley / Canyon Springs HS) had eight points and a whopping 17 rebounds.
For Santa Ana, sophomore guard Q.V. Johnson (Downey HS) had a co-game-high 23 points, Sophomore forward Taurean Oram (La Serna HS) chipped in with 18 points and yanked down a team-high 14 rebounds.
Riverside continues OEC action Friday, Jan. 13, when it visits the Saddleback College Gauchos in a 7 p.m. tipoff., while Santa Ana will host the Orange Coast College Pirates.