IMPERIAL VALLEY — The Imperial Valley College Arabs battled it out against Pasadena City College Thursday night in the 2016 Men’s Basketball Holiday Classic Tournament, but were unable to withstand the Lancers’ late surge, eventually losing 82-68 on day two of the tournament.
Pasadena jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on a three-ball and pair of free throws by forward Todd Barnes.
The Arabs took that first punch on the nose and responded with a jumper from the right elbow by Emanuelle Bradbury. Brandon Martinez joined in on the action knocking down a three, and then Eugene Rice nailed a free throw plus a layup to give IVC eight straight unanswered points and an early 8-5 lead.
Martinez continued to find the bottom of the bucket as he contributed another mid-range jumper, three-pointer, and layup to IVC’s 9-4 run. Pasadena called a timeout with 11:38 remaining in the first period to regroup after finding themselves down 17-9.
Every time the Lancers closed the gap, the Arabs would recoup the distance, up until the last seven minutes before halftime, when Bradbury sank a free throw to take a 26-16 IVC lead.
Pasadena followed with a 7-0 run led by guard Dejon Williams who hit back to back pull-ups from the top of the key to bring the Lancers to within three points at 26-23.
With 1:18 left in the half, the Lancers’ Williams drove in for another layup to tie the game 30-30.
Martinez answered back by dropping in his third three-pointer of the night, followed by a 16-foot buzzer beater to close out the half with a 35-33 IVC advantage.
A seesaw affair took place the first ten minutes of the second half as both teams elevated the offensive tempo, trading fast break layups with the Arabs’ defensive rebounding and court vision resulting in successful outlet passes in transition play.
In the second half’s seven minute mark, Pasadena’s forward Mckay Anderson, the game’s leading scorer with 29 points, began to take flight as he penetrated the Arab defense and slipped through the right baseline for a basket to tie the game 61-61.
After a put back by Anderson that gave Pasadena a 65-63 lead with five minutes left, IVC was unable to recapture the lead.
The same shots that fell for the home team in the first half became slight misses, resulting in long rebounds that Pasadena capitalized on to fend off the Arabs and escape with an 82-68 victory.
“Our improvement has been great,” said IVC’s Head Coach Andrew Robinson. “We’re playing better as a team and we just didn’t close it out like we were supposed to today. I think we’re primed in getting ready for conference. We just have to find ways to finish off strong.”