SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Cosumnes River men's basketball team concluded its opening weekend with a 2-1 record, as they leave the San Jose City College Tip-off Classic as consolation champions, following an exciting weekend of college basketball.
The Hawks wrapped up the weekend in the consolation championship game against Monterey Peninsula College with an 87-86 victory in an overtime thriller. The game was a tight contest throughout regulation, as the team's exchanged leads back and forth through the first half, before MPC took a 42-40 lead into halftime. The second half was more of the same, as the two teams struggled to push their advantage beyond one possession. MPC's long-distance shooting kept the Lobos in control through most of the second half, as guard Will Burkett hit three critical threes in game. The Hawks took advantage of their size inside however, as the team took control of the offensive glass, playing MPC to a 78-78 tie after regulation. In the extra period, MPC took an 86-84 lead with four seconds remaining when sophomore guard AJ Bridges (pictured right) took the ball the length of the floor, scoring on a layup while getting fouled, with an opportunity to put the game away from the free-throw line. Bridges connected on the free-throw to complete the three-point play, as CRC took the consolation championship with the 87-86 victory. Bridges finished the game with 30 points en route to all-tournament honors, while sophomore forward Jaycob Velasco played 40 minutes, scoring 24 points while grabbing 20 rebounds for his second double-double of the year.
The victory over MPC was the Hawks second straight, following the team's 104-50 blowout of Merced JC in the consolation bracket. Velasco, CRC's Student-Athlete of the Week, recorded his first double-double of the year in this game scoring 26 points while collecting 13 rebounds while also contributing a pair of blocks and a steal. Freshman forward Semir Cahtarevic also posted a double-double, as the Del Campo alum scored 12 points on five of nine shooting, while snagging 10 boards in the win. He also posted four assists for the Hawks. The victory came on the heels of what could have been the best game of the entire tournament, as CRC fell to Lassen 97-94 in the opening round. Cosumnes River took an early 46-37 lead into the half when Lassen caught fire on the perimeter, hitting big shots down the stretch, as the Cougars scored 60 points in the second half to take the 97-94 victory. Bridges recorded a double-double with a 30 point-10 assist performance for the Hawks in the loss. Velasco opened his 2013-14 season with a 22 point-6 rebound performance, including a 4-8 night from three-point range.
The Hawks, currently 2-1 to open the year, are idle until they host the James Clark Classic from Nov. 21-23. CRC will open the tournament with a contest against the Columbia Claim Jumpers at 6 PM. The bracket can be found here.