Second half hustle leads Tigers to victory against Fighting Cacti
By Hayden Kulick
The Riverside City College men’s basketball team exited the locker room after a slow first half and rebounded to defeat Copper Mountain on March 3.
The Tigers managed to maintain a lead throughout the first half despite getting into foul trouble early and not effectively producing on offense. They were able to stay in the game as a result of superior rebounding and physical defense. Their ability on the offensive glass helped them gain an 8 point lead heading into halftime.
However, the team pulled away in the second half by going on an 18-6 run within a 5 minute stretch. They became more fluid on offense. This resulted in back-to-back 3’s to push their lead on the Fighting Cacti. RCC continued to play physically on defense which led to easy opportunities on offense. Their efforts paid off as they finished the game with a 29 point victory.
“We need to stop having these slow starts,” Edwyn Collins, RCC guard, said. “We felt like we could’ve done better.”
Sixth seeded RCC won their first game in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern Regional Playoffs against the 22nd seeded Copper Mountain Fighting Cacti.
“We had some nervous jitters in the first half,” Philip Mathews, RCC head coach, said. “We have guys that I knew were going to come through in the second half.”
It was also Mathews’ 150th win as head coach. The players and staff presented him with a cake and a commemoration to celebrate this milestone.
“I didn’t know I had 150 but now that I know it feels good,” Matthews said. “ It feels good, it feels really good to get it in a playoff game.”