Tigers Go On Early 16-0 Run, Top Cypress, 70-53, in CCCAA South Regional First-round Playoff Game Wednesday

Tigers Go On Early 16-0 Run, Top Cypress, 70-53, in CCCAA South Regional First-round Playoff Game Wednesday

RIVERSIDE -- Utilizing a 16-0 run to overcome an early deficit, the Riverside City College (RCC Tigers men's basketball team raced to a 70-53 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) South Regional first-round playoff win over the visiting Cypress College Chargers Wednesday night (Feb. 22) at RCC's legendary Arthur N. Wheelock Gymnasium.

Riverside City (22-8 overall) was seeded No. 13 entering the tournament and faced Cypress for the second time in eight days. Coincidentally, last week's (Feb. 14) win over Cypress also was by 17 points, 75-58.

The Tigers' win also marked the first postseason win by RCC fourth-year head coach Phil Mathews during his RCC tenure. Mathews' previous community college postseason win was as head coach at San Bernardino Valley College, an 85-84 overtime victory over San Joaquin Delta College (March 12, 2005) in the CCCAA semifinals prior to an 83-68 loss to Fresno City College in the CCCAA championship final.

Cypress (13-15 overall, No. 20 seed) jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first 34 seconds, but just as quickly Riverside regrouped and went on a 16-0 run over the next 5:17 for a 16-5 lead with 14:09 left in the first half.

RCC built its biggest first-half at 32-16 with 4:19 left and settled for a 41-26 lead at halftime. In the second stanza, the Tigers compiled a 57-32 lead with 14:30 remaining before the Chargers closed to within 63-53 with 3:34 left.

Riverside had three starters score in double figures, paced by freshman guard Andre Wilson (Jurupa Valley - Patriot HS), who had 14 points, and freshman guard Brae Ivey (Fresno - Edison HS), who chipped in with 12 markers and seven assists, and freshman guard Brandon Thomas (Woodland Hills - Taft HS), who had 11 and eight boards.

Freshman forward William McQuay (Moreno Valley - Canyon Springs HS) added eight points and had a team-high nine rebounds.

For Cypress, sophomore guard O'Shae Williams (Pioneer HS) had a game-high 18 points. Freshman forward Brennon Palmer (Valencia HS) had a game-high 11 rebounds, while sophomore forward Pascal Evans (Ringsted Gymnasium) had 12 points and ten rebounds.

With the win, Riverside advances to face the No. 4-seeded San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Wolverines on Saturday, Feb. 25, in a 7 p.m. tipoff.