EL CAJON—Josue Mulamba was a force inside with 16 points and seven rebounds, Brandon Newman tossed in 14 points on 3-pointers and nifty inside moves, Melvin Cook was solid throughout in scoring 13 in Imperial Valley College’s 62-48 victory over Cuyamaca in their Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener here Friday.
Singletary is the lone returning starter for the Arabs (6-2, 1-0 PCAC), but they’re a team that has developed cohesiveness quickly because they understand their roles and strengths.
Mulamba scored 10 points and had five rebounds in the second half.
“Josue took over for us in the second half,” Imperial Valley coach Tyson Aye said.
Newman, the 5-foot-11 freshman, made the Coyotes (1-7, 0-1 PCAC) pay for giving him room in the corner, making three straight 3-pointers as the Arabs took a 10-2 lead. They never trailed in the game.
Newman leads the team in scoring with a 17.6 average and he’s led the team in scoring in six of eight games. He was five-of-six from the field, three-of-four on 3-pointers. His other two baskets came after grabbing a rebound tipped to him by Mulamba on the baseline and banking in a short shot and on a down-the-lane drive for a three-point play to give the Arabs a 52-38 lead.
Cuyamaca made an 8-0 run to close within 52-46 with 4:51 left, but the Arabs put the game away by scoring the next 10 points.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Singletary took the ball to the basket from the left side and, in traffic, shifted it to his left hand for a lay-up to get the run started.
Newman stole the ball and passed to Tyler Turner for a breakaway bucket. Cook followed by converting four straight free throws and Singletary closed out the run with two more free throws. They all were in the one-and-one bonus.
“We’re kind of a big family and everybody trusts everybody,” Newman said. “I thought we played exceptionally.”
Singletary scored nine and had five rebounds.
“He’s a great guard,” Newman said. “He’s a big man and can rebound but he also can find the guys on the court.”
The Arabs shot 50 percent (22-of-44) from the field, 4-of-12 on 3-pointers. The margin of victory could have been more, but they made only 14-of-23 free throws.
Cuyamaca was 19-of-54 from the field (35 percent), seven-of-24 on 3-pointers. The Coyotes were three-of-three at the foul line.
Imperial Valley had 31 rebounds, Cuyamaca 25.
“We played well enough to get a road win, but there’s still some things we need to work on and get better at,” Aye said. “When teams change up defenses on us, we need to be able to adjust. Teams are doing everything they can to keep the ball away from Josue. We tried to open up some driving lanes and Ryan (Ena) and Darius did a good job creating off the drives.”
Ena had four points and six rebounds and Turner, Kris Cook and Shawn Jones each scored two points.
Imperial Valley, ranked 13th in Southern California, plays Long Beach in its home opener next Friday.