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Mounties fall short as host Palomar pulls away on second-half run

(San Marcos, Calif.) Tied 28-28 at the break, Palomar (5-6) pulled away from Mt. SAC (5-5) on a 16-2 run in the second half to secure a 63-50 non-conference win at Palomar College.

Freshman guard Akinola Branco led Mt. SAC off the bench with 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting, while fellow freshman guard Gabe Ontiveros pitched in 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

Mt. SAC led 11-7 following a 3-pointer by freshman guard Todd Rigsby with 13:28 to play in the first half before Palomar went on an 11-2 spurt over the next six minutes of play.

Trailing 28-23 with 1:20 to play in the first half, the Mounties rambled off five unanswered points to knot the score at 28 at the intermission. The run was fueled by a 3-pointer from freshman guard Joseph Gonzalez at the 1:05 mark.

The Mounties kept it close in the second half, pulling to within four, 44-40, on a jumper by Branco with 7:57 to play before the Comets went on their 16-2 run to seal the win.

Freshman guard Anthony Routh led Palomar with 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting while teammate Michael Chatman added 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Rigsby led Mt. SAC with seven boards while scoring eight points. Sophomore guard Daniel DeJoya rounded out the Mounties' leading scorers with nine points on 4-of-9 shooting.

Winners of four of their last six games, the Mounties will open South Coast Conference play with an interdivisional matchup at Long Beach (9-2) on Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.

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