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HAWKS DEFEAT MERCED IN OPENING ROUND OF CLARK CLASSIC

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- The Cosumnes River men's basketball team extended their current winning streak to three games following the team's 77-60 victory over Merced in the opening round of the 36th Annual James Clark Classic.  The Hawks will look to stretch their current streak to four games when they play host to Napa Valley College tonight at 5 PM in the championship bracket of the Clark Classic.

CRC opened up the Clark Classic in impressive fashion, taking an early double-digit lead over the visiting Blue Devils.  Freshman guard Trenton Anthony paced the Hawks offense early hitting a pair of key three-pointers to help push the Hawks lead to 20 in the first half.  Freshman center Donald Mims was also impressive for the Hawks, establishing an interior offensive presence early, while also continuing to make an impact defensively.  Mims finished the contest with nine blocks, and currently leads the State in total blocks (26) and blocks per contest (4.5).  Cosumnes River stretched the lead to as many as 25 points in the first half, before taking a 21 point lead into intermission, as CRC led Merced 46-25 after the first 20 minutes of basketball.

The Hawks continued to play well into the second half, continuing to play strong half court defense and rebounding the basketball well, as CRC once again pushed the lead to 25.  Cosumnes River would maintain that margin throughout the majority of the second half, despite Merced putting together a number of late runs led by strong three-point shooting.  The Blue Devils would hit ten three-pointers in the game, the majority coming in the second half, as Merced tried to cut the deficit to 20.  The closest Merced would get was 17 however, as CRC closed out the Blue Devils for a 77-60 victory to open the 36th Annual James Clark Classic, held at Clark Court.

Reserve guard Josh Johnson led the Hawks with 14 points in the contest, adding five rebounds and two assists in the winning effort.  Sophomore forward David Straughter contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists, to go with one steal.  Anthony had 13 points on the night, to pair with two rebounds, three assists and three steals.  Freshman forward Daylon Potts contributed a double-double off the bench, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in 18 minutes of action.  In all, 12 Hawks players saw action, nine of which played double-digit minutes in the contest.

Cosumnes River advances to take on Napa tonight at 5 PM in a championship bracket contest.  Napa defeated Siskiyous 64-41 in their opening round matchup.  Also advancing to the championship bracket are Chabot and Sacramento City College.  Those two teams will play tonight at 7 PM.  The winner will advance to take on the winner of Napa-Cosumnes River.

The Clark Classic continues through tomorrow with the championship game taking place at 4 PM.  The day begins with the consolation final at 12 PM, and is followed by the third-place game at 2PM.

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