Arabs battle Jets for 69-64 PCAC victory
Imperial Valley College point guard Eric Bland shoots a free throw against San Diego Mesa on Wednesday at IVC. IVC beat Miramar, 69-64, on Friday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / January 19, 2013)
The Arabs (8-11, 2-2 PCAC) took the lead for the final time at 51-49 on Eric Bland’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 6 minutes, 38 seconds remaining.
Nesmith, a 6-foot-1 sophomore from Baltimore, took control from there. He scored on two nifty drives, one down the lane, one from the baseline, and made six straight free throws in the last 52.2 seconds.
IVC coach Tyson Aye, unhappy with his lack of overall play, didn’t start Nesmith for the first game this season. He had two points in reduced minutes in the first half.
“I thought he played better,” Aye said. “Maybe putting him on the bench to start the game got him refocused.”
The Arabs trailed 30-27 at halftime, but they played with passion and energy in their zone defense in the second half. They were able to strip the ball out front several times to start fast breaks and were able to disrupt the Jets’ offensive rhythm.
“We absolutely played better defensively in the second half,” Aye said. “We swung the ball on offense and we rebounded in the second half, too.
“It’s a huge win for us, coming back from Wednesday (a one-point loss to San Diego Mesa).”
Mike Angulo, a freshman from Southwest High, also made a key contribution down the stretch, making two free throws in a one-and-one opportunity with 44.4 seconds to play. The 6-foot-6 power forward and center had six points and six rebounds in a solid effort.
Jumah Sutton was IVC’s second leading scorer with 12 points and former Calexico High star Miles Hamilton had eight, including a 3-pointer with 14:20 to play that put the Arabs on top 38-36.