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Hopkins late steal and 27 points leads Mt. SAC Men's Basketball to an 87-84 SCC win over LA Trade Tech

Mounties Jay Milner with two of his 22 points. (Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage)
Mounties Jay Milner with two of his 22 points. (Photo Courtesy of DavesSportsImage)

(Walnut, CA) A crucial steal and two free throws by freshman guard Nick Hopkins led the Mt. SAC Men's Basketball team to an 87-84 victory over visiting L.A. Trade Tech College in a South Coast Conference game on Friday (January 27).

With the Mounties holding a slim, one-point lead (85-84) with 15 seconds remaining in the game, the Beavers' rebounded a missed Mt. SAC shot, but Hopkins stole the ball at midcourt and immediately fouled.

Hopkins (7-18 FGM-A, 13-18 FTM-A, 8 RB, 2 Stls.), who led the Mounties with 27 points, calmly sank both free throws to give the Mounties a three-point lead in the last 10 seconds.

"A win like this was really important because we just needed to play hard (Friday)," Hopkins said. "The last game (80-78 loss to Rio Hondo) was a close game and we lost it by a buzzer-beater, but we just needed everybody to play hard.

"I luckily got the steal and sank the free throws. It feels good to get the first win in this new facility."

The win, which stopped a five-game losing streak, improved the Mounties to 10-13 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

Also with a big game for the Mounties was sophomore guard Jay Milner (8-16 FGM-A, 1-4 3 PM-A, 5-7 FTM-A, 4 RB, 3 A, 4 Stls) with 22 points.

Dante Victor (5-8 FGM-A, 1-2 3 PM-A, 6-8 FTM-A, 6 RB, 1 A, 5 Stls.) and Arturo Angeles (4-10 FGM-A, 3-6 3 PM-A) had 17 and 11 points, respectively, for the Mounties.

"The last couple of weeks (5 straight losses) have been really rough," said Arturo, who had two 3-pointers in the first half. "This game was really important to us, with it being the second game in the new gym and we wanted to get the win for the crowd and our parents."

Mt. SAC Men's Basketball coach Michael Fenison talked about the win and the play of Hopkins and Angeles.

"They fought hard and hung in there and got the win," Fenison said. "The steal (by Hopkins) was excellent and the smart play was not to try to score, but to get fouled and go to the free throw line.

"(Angeles) was huge, not only (Friday), but the last several nights. He played well and gave us a lot of energy and were very excited about that."

The Mounties continue conference action with a game at ELAC this Friday (Feb. 3).

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.