Men's basketball team loses another close game, falls at OCC

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team led for a good portion of Friday night's Orange Empire Conference game at Orange Coast.

But the Pirates, who continue to lead the conference standings and are ranked ninth in the state, found a way in the final minutes to pull out a 73-70 victory in the final minutes.
Irvine Valley's record slipped to 13-11 overall and 2-5 in conference. OCC went to 15-7 overall and 6-1 in conference.
Lloyd Wright, Joshua Davis and Kupaa Harrison combined for 52 of Coast's 73 points. 

Wright led the way with 20 points and three blocks, Davis added 17 points and eight rebounds and Harrison tossed in 15 points to go along with four assists.

Robert Nixon came off the bench and provided strong support with seven points and three rebounds in 24 minutes for the Pirates.

IVC sophomore guard Daniel Hernandez paced the Lasers with 19 points, while freshman forward Jake Linsky added 12 points and nine rebounds.

Irvine Valley led for most of the first half and carried a 39-33 lead into the second half and led 41-35 before an 8-0 run by the Pirates put the hosts in front, 43-41.

Davis took over during that span and scored six of his team's eight points over that span.

From there, both teams battled back and forth with the lead changing hands on several occasions.

With Coast up, 63-61 with just under five minutes remaining, Wright drained a big three-pointer to put the Pirates up, 66-61.

Coast didn't relinquish the lead the rest of the game, but it the Lasers continued to battle.

A layup by Hernandez pulled the Lasers to within one possession at 73-70 with eight seconds left.

IVC quickly fouled the Pirates and after two missed attempts from the charity stripe, IVC had the ball back with a chance to send the game into overtime.

A long inbound pass found its way to Linsky and the forward had a nice look at a three-point attempt, but the shot rang off of the back rim and Harrison pulled down the rebound to end the threat and give the Pirates their sixth win in a row and their 13th win over their last 15 contests.

Irvine Valey plays again on Wednesday night at Fullerton at 7 p.m.

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