After defeating the 10th seeded Mt. San Jacinto College Eagles this past Friday night, the Riverside City College men's basketball team has advanced to the sweet 16 and is one win away from reaching the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships.
But first, they must go through the No. 13 seeded Santa Monica College Corsairs who recently upset No. 2 East Los Angeles, 63-60, on Friday night. The Tigers will host the Corsairs on Saturday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in Wheelock Gymnasium.
As a reminder, general admission tickets will be sold for $12. All faculty, staff, students, fans 60 years and older, children 12 and under and veterans will be charged $8 for admission. There is a parking fee of $5 and passes will be available at parking kiosks located in parking lot "K" and "E". If you are unable to attend the contest, the game will be live streamed through Riverside TV's YouTube channel.
The third time was a charm for Riverside as they finally defeated Mt. San Jacinto after previously falling to them twice on the season. After Riverside was up by just one point at halftime, the Tigers outscored the Eagles 51-36 in the second half thus cruising to a commanding 77-58 victory. Riverside was scorching hot from long range as seen in a 42.1 shooting percentage from distance. The defense was instrumental as they halted Mt. San Jacinto to a 38.2 shooting percentage which encompassed a mere 10.5 three-point shooting percentage.
Sophomore guard Otto Taylor paved the way with 21 points to go along with two assists and two steals. Sophomore guard CJ Clark, who was recently crowned the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) Offensive Player of the Year, flushed 18 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
On paper, the Tigers and Corsairs match up fairly well. Both teams boast a strong shooting percentage (RCC - 45.2%, SMC – 45.6%) and three-point percentage (RCC – 36.1%, SMC – 30%). Riverside holds the advantage on the distance shooting as they average 9.7 three pointers made-per-game, while Santa Monica sits at 5.7. Defensively, they nearly mirror one another in average points-per-game allowed (RCC – 73, 73.6).
Riverside will look to rely on the strong play of guards Clark and Taylor with contributions from sophomore center Franky McQuay and sophomore point guard Rico Tate. For more information on the Tigers, please visits www.rccathletics.com.