Late-Game Surge Pushes Riverside past Copper Mountain

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

Before tonight, the Riverside City College men's basketball team sat in a fifth place in the heavily shifting Orange Empire Conference (OEC) standings. The Copper Mountain College Fighting Cacti grasped a half-game advantage over the Tigers as RCC looked to leap them in a head-to-head matchup with the Fighting Cacti on their home hardwood. In another contest that came down to the final minute, the Tigers prevailed once again highlighted by clutch free throws from sophomore guard Brae Ivey (Huntington Beach, CA) en route to a 63-60 victory.

In a game that saw five ties and seven lead changes, the game ran wire-to-wire for the majority of the contest and came down to the final minute.

Copper Mountain took the lead under a minute left and forced the Tigers hand on several occasions. Ivey, who did not take any free throws the entire first half, worked his way to the line on two separate occasions with the game on the line and he cashed in all four free throws.

Ivey was a late-game master with clutch plays and smart decisions. He was aggressive on the offensive front and assertive on the defensive end. He came up with a huge steal on Copper Mountain's final possession to lead to his game-winning free throws. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds, two steals, and two assists.

Sophomore guard Andre Wilson (Colton, CA) paced the Tigers with 15 points despite only shooting 1-for-9 in the first half. He regained his groove to shoot 4-for-8 in the second half which included a trio of threes. Freshman center Jordan Robinson (Riverside, CA) dominated the boards with 14 rebounds to go along with 12 points.

The Tigers (14-9, 5-4 OEC) control their own destiny in a playoff hunt. They will face off against Saddleback on the road on Friday, February 9th at 7 p.m.