Victorville, CA - The Citrus College Men's Basketball team kept pace in the race for the 2017 Western State Conference East Division crown. The Owls raced out to an early lead and held off a second half rally by host Victor Valley College for a 95-73 win.
The Owls opened the game on a 21-5 run, getting six points from freshman Jeremy Smith, four from sophomore Kenneth Cyprian, and five from sophomore Tyler LaCour. Citrus would push their lead to 22 points at 8:24 mark thanks in large part to the play of LaCour who started out 5 for 5 from the field and 4 for 4 from downtown.
Citrus' largest lead of the game would be 29 points when freshman Alexios Ziska buried a trey with just over three minutes to go. At the break, Citrus would lead 55-25 after converting 61.2% of their shots from the floor and 56.3% of their 3-point attempts.
Things would slow considerably in the second half, as Victor Valley tried to work their way back into the game. The Rams would go on a big run that would see them cut Citrus' lead down to 12 with 12:22 to play in the game. LaCour would break a long Owl drought with a hook shot in the paint, but the Rams responded getting the Owl lead down to 11 with just under 12 to play.
Needing a big play, LaCour responded in kind another move in the paint, and on the next Rams possession blocked a Victor Valley shoot that led to a leak out and fast-break lay-up by sophomore Calvin Martin. After another stop and free-throws from Smith, Citrus' lead moved back up to 16 and it never dipped below the double-digit mark the rest of the way.
In the win, Citrus was paced by Smith's 21 team high points. LaCour would add 18 and four blocks, while sophomore Calvin Martin had a game high 11 boards. Sophomore Donn-Christian Corbin rounded out the superlatives with seven assists.
With the win, Citrus improves to 21-5 overall and 6-1 in WSC East play. The Owls will be back at home on Saturday when they host Glendale College for a 3:00 PM showdown.