By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College men's and women's basketball programs picked up Conference wins over Orange Coast College during Friday's 4th Annual #CypCity Hoops Night in Gym II. Men's basketball (13-10, 5-3 OEC), who entered the night ranked No. 15 in Southern California, began the excitement with a 77-53 victory over the Pirates. Women's basketball (19-6, 7-1 OEC), who entered the game ranked No. 15 in the state, ended the night with a 78-71 victory over the Pirates in double-overtime.
Men's Basketball- Cypress, 77 Orange Coast, 53 BOX SCORE
Four Chargers finished the night in double-figures, led by 23 points on 6-of-11 shooting from O'Shae Williams. David Murrell poured in 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Pascal Evans recorded his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
The Chargers led this one from start to finish as their athleticism proved to be too tall a task for the Pirates. Williams got off to a hot start for the Chargers, pouring in 17 first half points, as they quickly built an 8-point lead. Cypress guard Xavier Harris was fouled right before the halftime buzzer. He stepped to the line and hit two free throws to give Cypress a 34-24 lead at the break.
Cypress came out and dominated the second half, continually breaking through the Pirates full court pressure and attacking the rim. Their aggressiveness resulted in a season-high 40 free throw attempts, where they cashed in at a 72.5% clip. Murrell led the charge in the second half, scoring 12 of his 15 points. Chez Lister provided a huge spark off the bench with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in second half action. The Pirates were able to cut the lead to 5 with just over 15 minutes remaining but Cypress answered with a 14-3 run and never looked back.
Men's basketball will return to action on Wednesday, February 8 when they travel to take on Irvine Valley College at 5:00 p.m. Cypress will return home on Friday to take on Saddleback at 5:00 p.m.
Women's Basketball - Cypress, 78 Orange Coast, 71 2OT BOX SCORE
The Lady Chargers provided the #CypCity Hoops Night crowd with a thrilling double-overtime victory to remain tied for 1st place in the Orange Empire Confernce. Monique Mesa led the way with double-double, recording a career-high 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Alyssa Movchan added 17 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Sylvia Garcia finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals.
Sydney Driggs dropped a game-high 23 points and grabbed 10 boards to lead the Pirates. Michelle Wu gave the Chargers defense fits, scoring 21 points while finishing 5-of-8 from long range.
The game got off to a slow start as both teams pushed the tempo but failed to convert on good looks on offense. The Chargers took an 11-8 lead into the second quarter as both teams shot under 25% in the opening frame. The Chargers continued their struggles on offense in the second quarter, shooting a dismal 18% from the floor. However, their defense held tough and kept them within striking distance as Cypress entered halftime trailing 21-27.
The Pirates opened the second half with a Wu three-pointer followed by back-to-back buckets from Danielle Obong to take a 35-23 lead. The Chargers responded with an 11-0 run spanning just 2 minutes to get right back in the game. Both teams continued to battle in what was an up and down game. With just 1 minute to go in regulation, the Pirates held 60-55 lead after a layup from Wu. Garcia answered with a three-pointer and cut the deficit to 2. Out of an Orange Coast timeout, Wu drove to the rim and was blocked by Mesa as the Chargers gained possession with 40 seconds left. Garcia maneuvered through the lane, finding an open Mesa for a layup to tie the game at 60 and take the hard fought matchup into OT.
Neither team could gain control in the overtime period. Orange Coast's Chyann Pendergrass stepped to the line and split two free throws to give the Pirates a 67-65 lead with 13 seconds remaining. The Chargers advanced the ball using a timeout. Garcia had a good look out of the timeout that fell short but Mesa got the offensive rebound. Mesa missed a contested layup but continued fighting hard on the glass as she grabbed another rebound. This time Mesa dribbled out of traffic and hit a short baseline jumper as time expired to tie the game at 67 and force 2OT.
Cypress outscored Orange Coast 11-4 in the double-overtime period and went on to snatch an emotional 78-71 victory in front of an energized home crowd. Women's basketball will return to action on Wednesday, February 8 when they travel to take on Irvine Valley College at 7:00 p.m. The Lady Chargers will return home on Friday to take on Saddleback at 7:00 p.m.