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LOVE'S 24 POINTS LEADS CRC OVER SIERRA 92-87

Sophomore guard Mitchell Love
Sophomore guard Mitchell Love

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- The Cosumnes River men's basketball team defeated #17 Sierra College last night 92-87 in overtime, taking their second straight Big 8 conference contest and moving into a tie for second place in the conference standings.  Sophomore guard Mitchell Love scored 24 points in the win, while forward David Straughter recorded his sixth double-double of the 2014-15 season.

The Hawks entered Friday night's contest fresh off a 91-62 victory over rival Sacramento City on the road on Tuesday.  They looked to secure their second straight victory, and move into second place in the Big 8 conference, at home against 17th-ranked Sierra.  Cosumnes River jumped out early on the Wolverines, as freshman center Donald Mims scored the first eight points of the contest, putting Sierra in an early 8-0 deficit to open the game.  Sophomore guard Cole Preston recorded two quick layups to counter the early CRC run, closing the deficit to 8-4 after the first five minutes of the game.

The Wolverines would continue their run through the halfway mark of the first half, led by eight points from freshman Devyn Moss, as Sierra rallied to take a 21-15 lead with 10 minutes to play in the first half.  Cosumnes River would answer quickly however, as the Hawks interior would dominate the remainder of the half offensively.  A  pair of Mims dunks and ten points from the sophomore Straughter led the way, as Cosumnes River would take a 36-33 lead into the intermission.

CRC began to open things up beginning in the second half, as a 15-foot pullup from sophomore guard Phil Randles pushed the lead to 46-39 for the Hawks, who would lead by as many as ten points.  However, a shooting foul committed by Mims followed by a Mims technical foul open the door for Sierra, as forward Isaiah Pineiro converted four straight free throws to cap an 8-0 run by the Wolverines.  The game would be close throughout the remainder of the contest, as Sierra would tie things up at 53-all on a pair of Isaiah Quintero free throws with 10 minutes to play. 

Cosumnes River pushed the lead to two possessions on a pair of Straughter free throws, before Sierra began fouling to try to extend the game.  The Hawks would only convert on three of their last six attempts in the second half, however, leaving the door open for the Wolverines to get back in the game.  Forward Antonio Lewis continued his stellar second half, knocking down a three and scoring a layup to keep things close for Sierra.

Love would make one of two free throws to give the Hawks a 79-76 lead with 20 seconds to play, but the missed free throws down the stretch would haunt CRC, as Lewis connected on a three-pointer with seven seconds to play to tie things up at 79.  CRC would inbound the ball to Love, who advanced the ball to Straughter for a last-second three pointer that would miss long, as the game entered overtime with both teams locked up at 79.

Lewis continued to have a game, scoring the Wolverines first seven points of the period, and giving Sierra an 84-82 on a three-pointer.  Love responded in kind for the Hawks, connecting on a deep three-pointer to give CRC a one-point lead at 85-84.  A Lewis layup gave Sierra an 86-85 lead, but that wouldn't last, as Phil Randles knocked down a deep three-pointer to put the Hawks back on top for good.  Guards Mitchell Love and Josh Dela Cruz would convert four straight free throws, as Cosumnes River defeated Sierra 92-87 in the team's first overtime game of the 2014-15 season.

Love finished with a game-high 24 points and seven assists, while Straughter turned in a 21 point-10 rebound performance for the victors.  Center Donald Mims finished with 14 points, nine boards and seven blocks, with Randles recorded 13 points in the win.  Josh Dela Cruz rounded out the scoring with 10 points for the Hawks, while also finishing with seven rebounds and eight assists.  Forward Daylon Potts added five points and six rebounds off the bench.  Antonio Lewis led all Sierra scorers with 23 points on the night.  Devyn Moss scored 21 points while knocking down three three-pointers, while Anthony Williams and Isaiah Pineiro each recorded 13 points.

Cosumnes River continues Big 8 play next week on the road, when they travel south to Stockton to play the first-place Delta Mustangs.  The Hawks return home next Friday where they will take on the Pirates of Modesto JC.  Tipoff for that game is scheduled for 5:30.

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