Defense clamps down on Eagles
The Saddleback men's basketball team ran its winning streak to four games on Thursday with a 68-65 win against Mt. San Jacinto College at the Riverside City College Tournament. The Gauchos held the Eagles to 36% shooting for the game.
It was the second straight big finish for David Dial, who made some key baskets down the stretch to secure the win. Dial scored the final eight points of the game for the Gauchos after scoring just four points over the first 37 minutes of the game.
Saddleback received a solid performance from Tristan Williams, who finished with a team-high 13 points for the game. Williams also had a team-high seven rebounds to go along with two blocked shots and two assists.
Another key to the game was outside shooting as Saddleback finished 5-of-9 from downtown for the game. Nik Lipovic led the charge from beyond the arc, making 3-of-4. Lipovic is shooting 37% for the season after today's performance.
Saddleback started hot, opening up a 12-point lead midway through the opening half. The Eagles then closed the gap as the Gauchos had a 2.5 minute drought. The two teams would remain close the rest of the way, with neither team leading by more than five points over the final 27 minutes. Saddleback finally made a move in the final two minutes, with Dial leading the charge. His layup with 1:55 remaining gave Saddleback a 64-63 lead and then a rebound and put-back gave the Gauchos a 66-63 lead with just over a minute remaining. Dial then drained two free throws with 36 seconds remaining for a 68-63 lead, giving the Gauchos enough cushion to push past the Eagles.
Saddleback is now 6-3 overall after the win on Thursday. The Gauchos will face Cerritos College on Saturday in their final game of the tournament. Tip time with the Falcons is scheduled for 2:00 PM.