vine Valley's men's basketball team stayed unbeaten in Orange Empire Conference play, defeating Riverside, 62-58, in overtime Friday night at IVC.
In a defensive battle, Riverside shot just 33.9 percent (20 of 59) and IVC shot 37.5 percent (21 of 56) from the field in the game. There wasn't a whole lot separating the two teams. IVC out-rebounded Riverside, but just 42-41.
Each team had 19 turnovers. Irvine Valley was 14 of 16 (87.5 percent) from the free throw line with Riverside going 15 of 23 (65.2 percent). Irvine Valley looked in control, leading, 48-41, with 8:19 to play after a lay-up by sophomore forward Sean Donovan.
But IVC didn't score for almost the next five minutes. Riverside tied the score at 48-48. The Lasers took a 53-51 lead on a free throw by sophomore forward Joe Eberhard with 10 seconds left. Riverside sent the game to overtime when Corey Walker scored with five seconds left in regulation to tie it at 53-53.
The Lasers out-scored Riverside, 9-5, in the extra period. The Lasers led the whole way in OT. Sophomore center Ephraim Ekanem started things off with a three-point play to give IVC a 56-53 with 4:35 to play.
Two free throws by Eberhard and then two free throws by Donovan increased the lead to 62-56. Riverside's Walker scored with a second left for the final tally of 62-58.
Irvine Valley, ranked ninth in the state, improved its record to 17-3 overall and 4-0 in conference, while Riverside slipped to 11-10 overall and 2-2 in conference.
Irvine Valley was led by sophomore Travis Fulton, who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two blocks and Eberhard, who had 14 points and nine rebounds. Donovan added 12 points and Ekanem added 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Andrew Fisk finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks and Deondrae Lewis had 11 points for the Tigers.
IVC has a bye in the conference schedule on Wednesday and travels to district rival Saddleback next Friday night at 7:30 p.m. It is the first night of the President's Cup series between the two schools. Saddleback is also hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer night. Saddleback handed IVC one of its three losses this season in mid December. Box Score