Men's basketball team starts slow, loses at Santa Ana

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

It was a game of runs on Wednesday night and Irvine Valley's men's basketball team was playing catch up from the start in wheat turned out to be a 67-64 Orange Empire Conference loss at Santa Ana.

Santa Ana went on 15-0 run to start the game. 

Jalani Horn scored 10 points within the first five minutes of the game, while the pressing SAC defense gave Irvine Valley fits. The Lasers committed six turnovers in the same amount of time.

But the tide quickly changed as IVC, ranked No. 24 in the state, went on their own 20-4 run to take a one point lead with 5:53 left in the half.

The Dons responded and fought back to take a 28-26 lead at the half.

In the second half, neither team could create much separation.

The Lasers went up by as much as five (39-34) after freshman guard JT Robinson hit two free throws at the 13:41 mark.

But Sean Githens made two layups for Santa Ana to cut the lead back to one.

The game went back and forth with both teams taking leads until Horn put in a go-ahead layup with 2:20 left and followed it with a step-back corner three-pointer to give Santa Ana a 62-58 lead at the 1:03 mark.

SAC retained the lead down the stretch as the Dons hit the majority of their free throws to win collect their first Orange Empire Conference victory.

IVC was paced by Robinson with 22 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Sophomore forward Aashad Womcak finished with eight points and 11 rebounds and freshman forward Jesse Stines had eight pointsand four rebounds in the defeat.

Ramon Lopez had 21 points and six assists to lead the Dons.

Horn finished with 19 points and Ronald Ellison ended with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Irvine Valley's record slipped to 11-4 overall and 1-2 in conference.

Santa Ana improved to 6-9 overall and 1-2 in conference.

The Lasers play again on Friday, traveling to Riverside for a 7 p.m. conference game.

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