Men's basketball team can't get going against Saddleback

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

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team got down by double digits in the first half and could never really make a run in a 72-50 Orange Empire Conference loss to Saddleback at home on Friday night.

Irvine Valley saw its record fall to 13-6 overall and 3-4 in conference, while Saddleback improved to 12-7 overall and 5-2 in conference.

The Lasers couldn't stop the Gauchos and particularly David Dial and Captain Whitlock most of the night.

Saddleback ended up shooting 57.1 percent (28 of 49) for the game. Dial finished with 19 points, five rebounds and eight assists and Whitlock added 17 points. Tristian Williams and Jerique Walker each chipped in nine points for the Gauchos.

Irvine Valley was paced by freshman guard JT Robinson, who had 16 points. But he was the only Laser player in double figures.

Sophomore guard Christian Louis and sophomore forward Austin Carter each had eight points for IVC.

The Lasers shot just 37.7 percent (20 of 53) from the field for the game.

Saddleback scored the first five points of the contest. But the Lasers came back with eight in a row and took a 8-5 lead on a three-pointer by Robinson.

The Lasers went up, 10-9, on a layup by Robinson with 14:28 left in the first half.

But IVC had trouble scoring for a while after that.

Saddleback used a 12-0 run over the next four and a half minutes to take control.

A layup by Dial put Saddleback ahead, 21-10, with 9:57 to go in the half.

Saddleback led by as many as 13 points later in the half, but Irvine Valley got within eight points (39-31) after freshman guard Aaron Strings hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

But it was all Saddleback in the second half. The Gauchos scored the opening five points of the half and the Lasers could only manage 19 points over the final 20 minutes.

Saddleback out-scored Irvine Valley, 33-19, in the second half.

The Lasers will get back at it next week and will play again on Wednesday at Santiago Canyon. The Hawks were undefeated on the year heading into Friday night's action and ranked No. 3 in the state.

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