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Mt. SAC Men’s Basketball Splits Final Two Games in Mountie Classic

Mt. SAC Men's Basketball - Mountie Classic
Photo Courtesy of Dave Aguilera

(Walnut, CA) The Mt. SAC Men's Basketball Team finished 2-1 in the 10th Annual Mountie Classic, as they split the final two games Saturday (12/1) and Sunday (12/2).

Imperial Valley, which also finished at 2-1 in the six-team classic, downed the Mounties, 62-43 on Saturday night, but an exciting 90-88 overtime win over Orange Coast College, finished up the classic Sunday night.

Imperial Valley 62, Mt. SAC 43

Guard Daniel DeJoya (5-9 FGM, 4-6 3PM, 4 RB, 3 Stl.) was the only Mountie in double figures with 15 points.

Mt. SAC guard Yahshua Smith (2-3 FGM, 2-3 3PM, 2-2 FTM, 1 Stl.) added 8 points, while guard Akinola Branco (2-5 FGM, 1-1 3PM, 3 RB) had six points. Shallamar Poole (3-4 FTM, 5 points) led the team with five rebounds.

The Arabs jumped out to a 12-point, 36-24 halftime lead and kept up the pressure in the second half, outscoring the Mounties, 26-19 and cruised to the 19-point victory.

"The positive thing that we took away from this game is we know we can play better," Mt. SAC coach Clark Maloney said.

Mt. SAC 90, Orange Coast College 88 (OT)

With 18.7 seconds left in overtime, Orange Coast tied the game with a free throw, 88-88, but DeJoya sank two free throws with just :04 left to lead, 90-88. After OCC inbounded the ball, Mt. SAC's Keith Stewart knocked the ball out of bounds and one last long-range shot by the Pirates fell short.

"We definitely needed this win," Maloney said. "As a young team they're learning how to close games."

"Keith grew up (Sunday) and we've challenged him and he's willing to get better."

Currently the Mounties are starting almost all freshman, except for DeJoya.

Five Mounties (5-4) scored in double figures and leading the way in the OT thriller was Stewart (5-8 FGM, 9-11 FTM, 7 RB, 2 Blks.) with 19 points.

"This was a big game for me as I progressed as a player," said Stewart, the 6-8 freshman forward. "At the end of the day we got better and that's all that matters."

Guard Gabe Ontiveros (4-5 FGM, 2-2 3PM, 7-8 FTM, 2 RB, 3 Assts., 2 Stls.) scored a season-high 17 points, while guard Akinola Branco (6-9 FGM, 3-3 FTM, 4 RB) had 15 points.

Guard Todd Rigsby (5-8 FGM, 2-4 3PM, 1-2 FTM, 3 RB) and Dejoya (8-10 FTM, 7 RB, 7 Assts., 1 Stl.) added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

"That game was crazy and I'm glad we pulled it off," Rigsby said. "I'm glad we got another win and we need that confidence this week going into the Palomar game."

Mt. SAC will be on the road for the final two games of the 2018 calendar year, as they take on Palomar Friday (12/7) and Long Beach (12/14).

"We played a very good, scrappy team that plays hard in Orange Coast. They made us have to grow up (Sunday) on the court in all five spots," Maloney added.

Follow Mt. SAC Men's Basketball on twitter @MtSAC_MBKB

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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.