IVC loses to Grossmont in PCAC heartbreaker
Imperial Valley College point guard Darious Singletary makes a layup against Grossmont College on Friday at IVC. (Joselito Villero)
The Arabs had a chance to tie and force overtime, but Nate Williams’ 23-foot 3-pointer from the left wing was inches too long. It hit the heal and bounced away at the buzzer.
“I threw it up and thought it was going in,” Williams said.
IVC’s (17-6, 9-3 PCAC) second straight conference defeat put the Arabs two games down in the loss column to San Diego City (11-1 PCAC), who played at Palomar on Friday.
“We’ve taken it to heart,” Arabs’ center Ryan Ena said of having back-to-back defeats for the first time this season. “But nobody is going to quit. Everybody came ready to focus tonight, but we had some lapses on defense.”
Ena, a 6-foot-6 freshman who is replacing the departed Josue Mulamba in the post, had 21 points and 13 rebounds. He was 10-of-11 from the field but only 1-of-6 at the free throw line.
Ena has been productive with the extra minutes he’s getting, but he’d trade them for a win.
“I’m more concerned at the ‘W’,” he said.
Brandon Newman had 17 points and seven rebounds and Darius Singletary had 13 points and four assists for the Arabs, who shot 50.9 percent (28-of-55) from the field. They were 4-of-11 on 3-pointers and a miserable 5-of-12 (40 percent) at the foul line.
IVC’s biggest downfall was 18 turnovers. Grossmont had 10.
“This was a game of runs and, unfortunately, we gave them too many,” IVC coach Tyson Aye said. “I think it was the most turnovers-to-assists ratio (18-7) we’ve had this year. We gave them too many easy baskets.”
IVC led 12-9 early, but Grossmont (10-11, 7-6 PCAC) scored nine straight for an 18-12 advantage.
The Arabs tied it at 24 on eight straight points by Newman, two 3-pointers and a layup off an intercepted pass.
IVC and the Griffins were tied at 34-34 late in the first half, but Grossmont scored the last six points for a 40-34 lead at the half.
Grossmont jumped ahead 51-39 with 13:30 remaining and the Arabs responded with a 12-0 run to tie it, 51-51, with 10:43 left. Ena scored five. Williams four and Newman had a conventional three-point play to close the run out.
“I felt like during our runs, we played like we had something on the line and we do,” Williams said. “We had mental lapses on defense during their runs. We knew what they were going to do.”
Imperial Valley scored only three points in the next eight and a half minutes. The Arabs trailed 66-54 with 2:22 to play.
IVC began full-court pressing and, when it didn’t create a turnover, fouling.
Tyler Turner scored on a runner in the lane with 2:08 left. Newman made a free throw and Singletary had a conventional three-point play on a drive and free throw to get within six, 66-60.
Grossmont’s Tim Patrick made two free throws for a 68-60 lead.
Ena scored from inside and Singletary tipped in his own miss and the Arabs trailed by four, 68-64, with 21 seconds remaining.
IVC trapped Trevon Ash with a double team and Travis Alexander reached in for a held ball with 16 seconds left. The possession arrow gave the Arabs the ball.
Williams muscled inside to score a basket with five seconds left.
The Arabs fouled Cody Wittick one second later. Wittick made the first free throw and missed the second for a 69-66 lead.
Imperial Valley got the ball out of the backcourt and into Williams’ hands and he launched a 3-pointer that barely missed.
Imperial Valley has four conference games remaining. The next is Wednesday at home against Miramar.