Men's basketball team routs Orange Coast    

Tags: Athletics, Basketball-Men

Ramon MejiaThe Irvine Valley men's basketball team bounced back from a tough double overtime loss to rival Saddleback with one of its best performances of the season.

The Lasers scored 50 points in the first half on their way to a 88-54 Orange Empire Conference victory over Orange Coast Friday night at home.

Irvine Valley (15-4, 2-1) dashed out to an 11-0 lead in the opening 2:45 and never looked back.

Sophomore guard Ramon Mejia drained two three-pointers and sophomore forward Chris Taylor made a three-pointer and a lay-up to give IVC the early lead.

Irvine Valley pushed its lead to 20 points in the first half (36-16) after two free throws by freshman forward Jeff Given with 7:51 left in the first half.

The Lasers took their largest lead of the first half (21 points) at 43-22 on a lay-up by Taylor with 5:06 remaining. IVC was up, 50-32, at halftime.

Irvine Valley shot a blistering 17 of 29 from the field (58.6 percent) in the first half, including 9 of 15 from beyond the three-point line (9 of 15).

Mejia was 5 of 7 from three-point range for 15 points in the first half. Sophomore point guard Kalob Hatcher scored nine points and Taylor and Given each and seven points for the Lasers in the opening 20 minutes.

Irvine Valley kept the offense going at the start of the second half, going on a 12-1 run. A free throw by sophomore guard Jordan Hamamoto pushed the lead to 62-33 with 12:50 left in the game. Orange Coast, which saw its record fall to 6-13 overall and 1-2 in conference, didn't get closer than 19 points the rest of the way.

Irvine Valley's largest lead of the game was 38 points (83-45) with 4:47 left after a lay-up by freshman guard Julian Nichols.

For the game, Irvine Valley shot 50 percent (30 of 60) and held Orange Coast to 32.7 percent (18 of 55). The Lasers were 11 of 22 from behind the three-point line (50.0 percent). The Lasers also out-rebounded Orange Coast, 48-29, and had 22 assists on their 30 made baskets.

Irvine Valley was paced by Mejia with 17 points. Freshman forward Michael Bolden had 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Freshman forward Christian Scott, who made his first start of the year, filling in for the injured Zach Mills, was a big contributor with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Given ended up with nine points and five rebounds, Taylor chipped in seven points and freshman forward Kirill Sergeyev had six points and seven rebounds for IVC.

The Lasers also did a good job of hounding OCC's leading scorer Will Ligon. Ligon scored a career-high 37 points in the Pirates' win over Santa Ana on Wednesday, but had just 11 points on 3 of 8 shooting from the field on Friday night.

Tyler Payne was the other OCC player in double figures with 10 points.

Irvine Valley plays again next Wednesday night, hosting Riverside at 5:30 p.m.  

Box score

Posted by  Nathan Quach  on  1/13/2012
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