Poised Endings Lead Riverside past Moorpark in Final Non-Conference Battle

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

The Riverside City College men's basketball team completed non-conference play on Saturday afternoon by hosting the Moorpark College Raiders on home hardwood. Despite Riverside holding a sizable lead entering into halftime, the Raiders continued to chip away and brought themselves to within six points of the lead on various occasions. Nevertheless, the Tigers utilized clutch shooting and cashed in on opportunities at the charity stripe down the stretch leading to a 72-61 win.

Riverside came out of the gates hot as they outscored the Raiders 26-9 in the opening 10 minutes. They gained their first lead on a bucket from sophomore forward Franky McQuay four minutes into the action and never looked back. Sophomore guard CJ Clark was on fire in the opening stretch by hitting a trio of three pointers, backed by two lay ups and a triple from freshman center Maurice Tutt.

It was sluggish remainder of the first half and in the early stretches of the second half with Moorpark pulling within six points of a tie. However, Clark's long distance shooting and McQuay's play underneath kept the Tigers at a steady distance with the lead. However, Moorpark pulled to within six points for the third time in the contest with just two minutes remaining.

Luckily for Riverside, free throws from freshman guard Cam'Ron Wilson and Clark were falling with ease thus leading to a 72-61 victory.

Clark led all scorers with a game-high 21 points accompanied by three assists, three steals and two rebounds. Freshman Otto Taylor backed him with 12 points despite his rough night from three-point land. He went 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

McQuay landed in double-digits for the first time this season after flushing 10 points and hauling in six rebounds. Tutt and Wilson shared the team high in rebounds with seven.

Riverside (11-5) will begin Orange Empire Conference (OEC) play on Wednesday, January 9 as they take on the No. 1 Fullerton College Hornet (15-1) on the road at 5 p.m.