Community Colleges : Riverside Turns This Battle for First Place Into Mismatch

Times Staff Writer

The first half of the Orange Empire Conference men’s basketball race ended Wednesday with Riverside College finally doing what was expected from the start.

The Tigers beat Orange Coast, 82-46, in front of about 300 at Riverside in a game that started as a battle for first place.

Riverside was picked as the top team in the conference to begin the season, but struggled to a 6-6 start. Since then, the Tigers have won 14 of 16 and are 20-8 overall and 5-1 in conference play.

Riverside leads by a game over Rancho Santiago (14-8, 4-2) and Orange Coast (19-6, 4-2).


“For the first 12 minutes that was as well as we’ve played this season,” Riverside Coach Bob Boyd said. “We let down after that at times.”

In the first 12 minutes, OCC was held to two field goals and Riverside led, 21-6.

OCC got to within 35-27 at the half, but the Tigers ran away in the second half.

Forward Bobby Joyce from Santa Ana High School led the way with 14 of his game-high 22 points in the second half. Joyce had 4 dunks and a game-high 9 rebounds.

Fullerton 66, Saddleback 58--Bradd Heckman’s 11 first-half points helped Saddleback to a 32-29 halftime lead but without leading scorer Sean Keyes, the Gauchos folded in the second half. Keyes, who is averaging 17 points a game, twisted his ankle in practice Tuesday and played only the first 3 minutes. Saddleback is 9-13, 2-4 in league play.

Golden West 92, Cypress 85--Alexis Kreps scored 31 points, 21 in the second half, to lead Golden West (17-8, 2-4) at Cypress. Kreps, a freshman forward, made 12 of 17 shots, including 9 of 11 in the second half. He also had 9 rebounds. Cypress (10-13, 2-4) pulled to within 82-79 with 2:55 left on a basket by Nate Shee-han. However, Kreps and Markus Muller-Stach (24 points) each scored 4 points down the stretch. Mike Varos scored 24 points and Andre Lamoureux 15 for Cypress.