It has been nothing but exciting beginnings for the Riverside City College men's basketball team in the opening week of play as they have begun their season on a two-game winning streak. The Tigers looked to push it to three-consecutive wins by facing off against the Pasadena City College Lancers in the championship game at the "We Play Hard" Tournament hosted by Ventura College.
In a low scoring affair, Riverside went blow-for-blow and never found themselves down by more than seven points. However, after succumbing to a five-point deficit with under three minutes remaining, an eight-point run at the conclusion of the contest helmed the Tigers to a 64-61 victory.
It is the third-straight season that the Tigers have hauled in the championship trophy at the "We Play Hard" tournament. In 2017, the defeated Palomar, 83-77, and in 2018 they defeated Orange Coast, 88-69.
Sophomore guard Rico Tate sparked the eight-point run by hitting a lay-up which led to a Riverside timeout. Sophomore guard CJ Clark followed by working his way to the charity stripe and cashing in two buckets. He followed two possessions later by flushing a jumper to put Riverside up by one point.
Freshman center Maurice Tutt, who started in his first game as a Tiger on Thursday night, sealed the victory by hitting two free throws with four seconds left to haul in a 64-61 victory.
Despite an abysmal shooting night, Riverside limited turnovers and forced Pasadena City to cough the ball up 26 times. The Riverside bench also accounted for 26 points to prove a deep arsenal of weapons.
Tutt paced Riverside in scoring for the second time in the past three games. He dropped 11 points to go along with six boards, two steals, and one assist. Tate followed with nine points while dishing out three assists and pocketing a pair of steals.
Freshman guard Tyree Winborn helmed the bench brigade as he finished with eight points and two steals, while Clark dropped eight points and recorded two assists.
Riverside (3-0) will continue action at home on Wednesday, November 7 as they host the Long Beach City College Vikings at 6 p.m.