Orange Coast limited Golden West to two points down the stretch and pulled away to a 79-69 victory in an Orange Empire Conference men's basketball game Wednesday at OCC.
It was the sixth victory in eight games for Orange Coast (11-10, 2-1 in conference), which is off to the best start in Coach Tim O'Brien's four seasons.
Golden West led, 42-37, at the half and maintained the lead well into the second half. Darnell Adamson made a short jumper for two of his 18 points to put OCC ahead, 63-61, with 7 minutes 54 seconds left. The Pirates never trailed again.
Rod Scheuerman got a rebound and basket for Golden West to cut the lead to, 68-67, with 4:39 left. But Golden West didn't score again until there were 30 seconds left.
Matt Ambrose finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds and Duane Curtis added 14 for Orange Coast.
"It was a struggle," O'Brien said. "We just had more depth and an inside game. If we didn't have heart and character we would have rolled over and died."
In other men's games:
Irvine Valley 70, Rancho Santiago 69--Demetrius Zeigler made one of two free throws with three second left to break a 69-69 tie for visiting Irvine Valley (10-10, 1-2). Josh Porter made 11 of 13 shots from the field and finished with a game-high 26 points.
Saddleback 90, Fullerton 65--Anthony Carter scored 17 points and was one of six Saddleback players in double figures. It was the 15th victory in 16 games for Saddleback (15-3, 3-0).
Riverside 95, Cypress 73--Jason Kraus scored 17 points for the visiting Chargers (9-11, 1-2), who led by two at halftime but shot 38% from the field in the second half. Riverside is 20-3, 3-0.
In Orange Empire Conference women's games:
Golden West 76, Orange Coast 73--Although Orange Coast had a prime chance to win, Golden West (12-9, 2-1) managed to extend its winning streak to 21 games over OCC.
Orange Coast (16-5, 2-1) led by as many as 15 in the first half and was ahead, 73-72, with Jamie Shine shooting a free throw with 26 seconds left. Shine's shot went off the front of the rim and Golden West's Nicole Wiora got the rebound and was fouled.
She made both free throws to put Golden West ahead, 74-73, and then knocked the ball away with 10 seconds left. Golden West's Leila Ryan got ball, was fouled, and made both free throws with six seconds left.
Ryan finished with 18 points, 14 in the second half. Shine, who had 20 points, also had 16 rebounds to become the all-time leading rebounder at OCC. She has 573.
Saddleback 92, Fullerton 64--Maureen Skehan and Nekeda Allen had 16 points each for Saddleback (16-0, 3-0), the second-ranked team in the state.