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Community College Basketball : Cypress Upsets Rancho Santiago

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The torrid pace that Rancho Santiago College has been setting the past two months came to an abrupt halt Saturday night as Cypress upset the Dons, 87-75, in an Orange Empire Conference men’s basketball game at Cypress.

The loss broke Rancho Santiago’s school-record 18-game winning streak and leaves the Dons (7-1, 24-4) a game ahead of Saddleback with two left in the conference race.

Before Saturday, Rancho Santiago’s last loss was to Fullerton, 80-75, Dec. 5 in the Grossmont Tournament.

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The Dons are the top-ranked team in Southern California and third in the state.

The victory keeps Cypress (5-3, 17-12) in third place, a game ahead of Citrus (4-4). The top three finishers in the conference earn automatic berths to the state playoffs.

Cypress led, 35-33, at halftime and never trailed in the second half as sophomore Andy Olivarez became the center of the offense. Olivarez, who is averaging 21 points a game, scored a game-high 27, 19 in the second half. Olivarez also had a game-high 10 rebounds.

Cypres made 35 of 41 free throws in the game, 23 of 26 in the second half. Eric Krivashei made 9 of 11 as he scored a career-high 17 points. He made both ends of four one-and-one situations in the final three minutes to help prevent a Rancho Santiago comeback.

Saddleback 60, Orange Coast 45--Tom Desiano scored 14 points and Vincent Smalls added 10 to lead the Gauchos to the victory at Saddleback College.

In the South Coast Conference:

Mt. San Antonio 77, Fullerton 76--Kevin Patrick missed a 15-foot jump shot at the buzzer as the Hornets lost at Fullerton. James Jones scored 28 points and Cletus Jarmon added 16 for Mt. SAC (3-9, 10-17).

Long Beach City 91, Golden West 76--Chris McMichael scored 15 points and had 15 rebounds off the bench as the Vikings (7-5, 15-13) defeated Golden West (4-21, 0-12) at Long Beach.

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