SACRAMENTO, Calif.- Head Coach James Giacomazzi and Cosumnes River men's basketball team return to action tonight when they take on crosstown rival American River College. CRC will look for their 11th win in 13 games following a narrow 79-76 loss to Diablo Valley in their conference opener.
The Hawks look to return to their winning ways following Tuesday's tough loss to the Vikings of DVC in their Big 8 conference opener. CRC led for most of the contest, taking an early lead and carrying a 35-31 advantage into the intermission. Cosumnes River pushed the lead to as many as 12 points in the second half, before the Vikings battled their way back into the contest. Diablo Valley took their first lead of the second half late in the period on a Joe McNiff three-pointer, giving the Vikings a one-point advantage. The Hawks would trail by as many as six points, before clawing their way back into the contest. Sophomore guard Mitchell Love hit a big three-pointer for Cosumnes River to bring the Hawks within one possession, before CRC's defense took over the game.
A pair of turnovers by DVC left open an opportunity for the Hawks to get back into the game, as forward David Straughter had two opportunities to tie the ballgame. Down two points, Straughter was fouled on a layup attempt, but converted only one of the two free throws, leaving DVC with a one point lead with 11 seconds to go in the game. Vikings guard Jelani Hardaway freed himself from his defender and received a deep inbounds pass from McNiff, finishing a dunk to push the DVC lead back to three. However, roughly seven seconds remained on the clock, and CRC managed one more shot attempt. Love dribbled the length of the floor before hitting an open Straughter for a three-point attempt that would have tied the game, but the shot rimmed out, as the Hawks fell for only the second time since November.
Love scored a season-high 23 points to lead the Hawks, including four three-pointers, while recording three steals in the contest. Freshman center Donald Mims scored 15 points on 6-7 shooting, while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking three shots, while Straughter contributed 13 points in the loss. Guard Jelani Hardaway led the Vikings with 23 points including 3-4 from long-distance, while forward Rico Nuno had 11 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists on the night. Guard Joe McNiff was a perfect 3-3 from three-point range, scoring nine points for the Vikings, including the go ahead basket.
Cosumnes River (10-6; 0-1) returns to action tonight when they take on rival American River. The Beavers enter tonight's contest with an overall record of 9-3, and a conference mark of 1-0, following their 61-60 victory over Sacramento City in their opener. The Beavers are led by sophomore guard Jarvis Watkins, who currently averages 13.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per contest. Guards Kei'shaun Sinclair and Marcelas Perry are also averaging double-digits in scoring at 11 points and 10.6 points per contest.
CRC remains on the road next week when they open with Sacramento City on Tuesday night. The Hawks return home next Friday when they play host to the Wolverines of Sierra College. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 5:30.