American River College’s men’s basketball team were victorious 68-57 Tuesday night, defeating San Joaquin Delta College after jumping out to a 17 point lead by halftime, and held off a late SJDC run powered by guard Dwayne Lee.
ARC obtained the lead on a 8-0 run with about eight minutes left in the first half, shooting well from the 3-point line as the lead started to grow.
“(We try to) work it inside and out because we have a size advantage,” said ARC Head Coach Mark Giorgi.
Once the second half started, ARC’s defense aided it in swelling the lead to 30 points, its largest of the game. The rally started with ARC’s forward Jericho Avery’s thunderous block.
“Halftime is the toughest guy to beat in the gym,” Giorgi said about keeping effort up in the second half.
“We had a lot of intensity and energy, and fed off that,” said ARC guard Richard Reed. “We preach help, that’s something (Giorgi) tells our bigs to do.”
SJDC started to make a push with an eight point run of their own late in the second half.
ARC was only able to score on free throw attempts during the last three minutes of play. SJDC nearly cut ARC’s lead to single digits before the final buzzer sounded.
ARC improved to 12-6 overall on the season. SJDC dropped to 13-7 overall.
Early in the first half, ARC center Eugene Crockett and Giorgi had an intense discussion on the bench after Giorgi had taken Crockett out of the game.
“I’m the oldest on the team, I just take the lead,” Crockett said. “Old man, but you got the two jobs,” he said of being a player and a leader.
Giorgi is familiar with Crockett, having coached him seven years prior.
“That guy never shuts up,” said Giorgi. “He knows what is expected of him.”
SJDC guard Dwayne Lee scored 20 points and was 8 of 17 shooting from the field. He also shot 50 percent from the 3-point line.
SJDC’s assist to turnover ratio was 8 to 17, and the team shot under 40 percent from the field.
Despite the late rally, the game was never in question as SJDC never cut the lead closer than the final result.
“Every game, just make sure we’re locked in defensively,” said Reed.