Men’s Basketball: Owls Open New Year With Win Over Pierce

Sophomore Tyree Winborn poured in 31 points off the bench for the Owls in their win over LA Pierce. Photo By: Brianna Jara
Sophomore Tyree Winborn poured in 31 points off the bench for the Owls in their win over LA Pierce. Photo By: Brianna Jara

Glendora, CA - The Citrus College Men's Basketball team put together arguably its best defensive effort of the 2019-2020 season during the first half of their non-conference matchup with LA Pierce on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately it didn't deter their opponent from mounting spirited comeback by the visiting Brahmas in the second half. Fortunately, the Owls were game for the challenge, as they held on for a 88-76 win. 

As previously mentioned, the Owls used their defense to jump out to a lead they never technically relinquished. Citrus opened up the game on a 14-2 run, turning a steal by sophomore James Williams into a lay-in by sophomore Tyree Winborn off a pass by sophomore Collin Blanchard to extend that early lead. The Brahmas would use a mini 7-1 run to pull within six of Citrus; but the Owls dominated the opening 20 minutes heading into the break up 44-24.

In the second frame, the two schools would trade baskets, until LA Pierce would go on a run from the 15:12 mark until the 7:54 mark that saw the Brahmas outscore the Owls 25-11 and pull within seven points 61-68 after a steal and transition flush. A pair of free-throws by sophomore Toby Okwuokei, would help right the ship, but Pierce would continue to keep it close down the stretch. 

The Brahma's last hurrah would come when they pulled back to within single digits with just over two to play. A triple by Okwuokei would quickly silence the threat, as did a pair of stops down the stretch.

In the win, Citrus would be paced by Winbmorn's game and career high 31 points off the bench. Sophomore Tobin Kund added 18, while Okwuokie added 10. Okwuokie overcome an uncommon thought shooting night by also handing out a team and game high 10 assists. Sophomore Alexander Cartwright rounded out the superlatives with a game high 12 rebounds.

Friday nights win, caps the end of the non-conference schedule for the Owls (8-6). Citrus will kick-off what is increasingly looking like a brutal Western State Conference South Division schedule on Wednesday when they host Los Angeles Valley College for a 7:00 PM tip.