BY CRISTIAN SANDOVAL
Cypress falls in overtime against Riverside City College 71-66.
The Chargers were looking to bounce back after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Fullerton College (18-1) and Irvine Valley College (13-6).
With this loss, Cypress’s losing streak stands at three and sets them back to sixth place of the Orange Empire Conference with a record of 12-9.
The game started out slow for the Chargers as they were only able to convert two of their first eight shots.
Things got started for the Chargers as freshmen guard Grant Sii who was the leading scorer of the game for Cypress with 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist and freshman forward Felix Reeves who finish behind Sii with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assist knocked down a couple of three-pointers to get the offense going for the Chargers.
The last ten minutes of the first half belonged to the Tigers as they went on a 13-5 run extending their lead to eight points with three minutes left to go in the half.
Cypress went into halftime trailing to Riverside 35-29.
The Chargers struggled in the first half as they only managed to shoot 31 percent from field goal range and got outscored by the Tigers bench 17-4.
The second half the Chargers started out strong with seven unanswered points regaining the lead 36-35 but the Tigers quickly answered with a mid-range shot from sophomore guard Amir Davis and a layup from sophomore guard Edwyn Collins giving Riverside the lead once again.
The Chargers answered back by going on a 18-4 run and gained an 11 point lead 54-43 the highest of the game with seven minutes left in the game.
Cypress couldn’t keep the momentum of their side and the game quickly shifted as Riverside, who showed no signs of giving up, began to apply heavy pressure on the Chargers offense.
The Tigers were able to erase the Chargers 11 point lead and cut it down to only two points with 50 seconds left in the game.
With 24 seconds left in the game Sii was unable to hold on to the ball to close out the game and caused a turnover and allowed Riverside to have one more chance at tying or winning the game.
In the last play of the game Davis managed to grab Riverside’s own rebound after a missed shot that tried to tie the game and allowed freshmen guard Jalen Monroe the Tigers highest scorer of the night with 19 points, 7 rebounds a last second layup that tied the game up and sent the game to overtime.
The Tigers finished the game on a 13-2 run and only allowed Cypress to score one out of their six shots to end the game.
Riverside quickly gained a four point lead in overtime after a quick layup and a couple of free-throws by Monroe.
Cypress were able to answer back and tie the game 60-60 after Reeves and Grant knocked down their shots.
In the next possessions both teams exchanged back to back three-pointers that had the game tied 63-63 with one minute left in overtime.
With 42 seconds left sophomore guard Melvin Walker gave Riverside a two point lead in the game and from there the Tigers never looked back and were able to hold on to the game and come out with a win.
Cypress finished the game with a total of 18 turnovers and gave up a total of 36 points in the paint.
“They are a little longer than us, more athletic… still no excuse,” said Cypress Head Coach Andrew Alhadeff.
Still coach Alhadeff believes in his team and that they will be able to get out of this slump his team is currently in.
“I like my guys. I think we can get better. We’ll rebound from this,” said Alhadeff.
Next Up: The Chargers will look to break their losing streak and will visit Orange Coast College on Friday, Feb. 4, at 5 p.m.