The UCC men’s Riverhawk basketball team rode a two game win streak in Roseburg with their victory against Eugene’s Lane Community College, extending their current winning streak to three games by defeating the Titans 81-72 Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the Riverhawk nest.
The men had a slow start, giving up an early lead to the Titans. Head coach Daniel Leeworthy called his team’s first timeout early in the first half after a dunk was made by Lane forward Jaylin Robinson. “We just didn’t start very well, and we weren’t ready to play,” coach Leeworthy said. “We lost a lot of those toughness plays [as] we like to call them, and we corrected the ship.”
UCC fought back and took a 36-31 lead into halftime after an exchange of nine lead changes in the first half.
After the break, the Riverhawks came out firing on all cylinders by going on a 19-3 run to start the second half, increasing their lead to 20. After shooting just 39.4 percent as a team in the first half, UCC finished the second half strong, shooting 48.6 percent in the second frame.
Lane would not go down without a fight though as they slowly clawed their way back into the game. The Titans brought the score to within three, 75-72 in favor of the Riverhawks, after Lane made two bonus free throws while UCC was in the penalty. “You’re always trying to weather the storm and try to get momentum back on your side,” UCC guard Grant Ellison said. “Sometimes it’s hard because it seems like they’re making all the shots and getting all the calls, but you just have to stay calm.”
Although UCC gave up their largest lead of 24 points, the Riverhawks stayed the course and got the win. “It kind of feels bittersweet because we let that big lead go, but at the end of the day a win is a win,” Ellison said after contributing 21 points on 57 percent shooting.
The Riverhawks have now extended their win streak to five games after contests against the Clackamas Cougars in the nest on Saturday, Jan. 21, winning 87-72, and against the Chemeketa Storm defeating Chemeketa 122-116 on the road. UCC’s next home game will be played against the Portland Panthers Monday, Feb. 6. Students can attend for free with a student I.D.