Final Article on AVC’s Game Last night

Posted: January 26, 2017 in AVC Men's Basketball, AVC Men's BB 2016-17
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AVC lets one slip away

By: John Sanders


LANCASTER – Nobody said it was going to be easy.

It wasn’t supposed to be.

Especially not against the conference favorite.

And following a put back dunk by Antone Warren with 2:44 to put Antelope Valley College up by a single point, the Marauders seemed to have the momentum.

But that’s why Citrus College entered the Western State Conference as the favorite.

After trailing 70-69, the Owls (18-5, 3-1) outscored AVC 11-5 the final 2 minutes and escaped with an 80-75 victory against the Marauders, Wednesday evening at Marauder Gymnasium.

AVC (16-7, 3-1) saw its eight-game winning streak snapped and it was the first victory for a Western State Conference opponent against the Marauders at Marauder Gymnasium since joining the conference in 2013, which spanned 23 games.

"Our execution down the stretch was bad. We shot 61 percent (from the field) and I thought we could score at any time. If you’re hitting six of 10 shots you should win the game," AVC head coach John Taylor said. "But give them (Citrus) credit. We gave up 15 offensive rebounds. Our team should never get out rebounded."

Just as advertised, it was a back and forth game which saw the Marauders clinging to a 34-33 lead at halftime, AVC’s largest lead the first 20 minutes was four points, while the Owls led by as many as five.

A couple of monster dunks by Jailen Gill and another by Warren kept the game tight at 46-46, only five minutes into the second half. Citrus, which had an uncharacteristic loss against LA Valley College to open conference play, took a 54-48 lead following a 3-point shot.

"Like our coach said we played with no energy. We played like we were tired. They were getting the long rebounds and we weren’t boxing out," said Gill, who finished with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. "Anybody can lose. We can’t look back and we just have to get better and move forward. I think we can definitely bounce back, but it’s all about our team."

The Marauders showed their resiliency as they responded with a 12-2 run to take a 60-56 lead, which included AVC’s first 3-pointer of the game from Reggie Byers. As the Owls remained close, it was Byers who provided the offensive spark off the bench by scoring 12 straight points and AVC still held a slim 66-65 lead with only 6:40 remaining in the game.

Four consecutive free throws by the Owls gave them a 69-68 lead. Following Warren’s dunk, which gave AVC its final lead of the game, the Marauders had four consecutive possessions which resulted in a poor shot or a turnover.

The Marauders trailed 73-70 with 1:50 remaining in the game and AVC turned the ball over giving it back to Citrus. After a defensive breakdown, the Owls Jeremy Smith kicked the ball out to Tyler LaCour who calmly netted the team’s eighth 3-pointer of the game which sealed the victory with 59 seconds remaining. Citrus was 8-of-26 from 3-point range, while AVC was only 3-of-8.

"It’s very disappointing. We were on a good run and we felt like nobody could stop us," said Warren. "We could have had better execution and more rebounds and not 19 turnovers. It’s the little things that matter for us. We broke down and we can’t do that. We have to come out ready for Saturday (against Glendale)."

Warren was effective when he was in the game. The 6-10 sophomore played only 10 minutes and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, but was plagued with foul trouble and had to sit most of the game.

"We didn’t have energy, which is very surprising for us. Some things went bad for us, but you have to respond," Taylor said. "(With this loss) we let everybody back in, so we better respond. All we can do is prepare for tomorrow. It’s a tough loss, but it happens. If we learn from this, then we’ll be a better team.

Women’s basketball AV College 54, Citrus College 41

Deja Smith led the Marauders with 16 points and added seven rebounds to lead AVC to its fourth consecutive victory, with a 54-41 victory over the Owls.

The Marauders remain atop the Western State Conference standings with an unblemished 4-0 record.

Brieanna Perkins netted two consecutive 3-pointers in the second quarter giving the Marauders a 31-18 lead. That capped a 15-2 run by AVC as it cruised to the victory.

Perkins finished with 11 points and Makaela Manson added 12 points for the Marauders.

sports@avpress.com

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