Lasers men defeat Santa Ana, 73-63

Men’s Basketball 5 (Tameem Seraj)

Tameem Seraj

IVC’s men’s basketball team triumphed over Santa Ana Wednesday to complete a perfect homecoming night for IVC. The Lasers overcame their recent home struggles to get back into the Orange Empire Conference race.

“We have been flat lately and complacent defensively. We were not pressuring the ball and allowing people to run their offense,” IVC coach Jerry Hernandez said about the team’s performance over the past few games.

The game started with a fast pace as both teams pushed the ball as soon as they got possession. The Lasers were scoring early and often and the Dons defense had no answer for the Lasers attack. The Lasers went into halftime with a 35-26 lead.

The Lasers shot 48.1 percent from the field and 40 percent from long distance in the first half. The Dons also shot 40 percent from behind the arc and 43.5 percent from the field.

In the second half the Lasers stretched the lead to double digits at 15 but the Dons wouldn’t go down easy. Santa Ana clawed the lead back down to six with 44 seconds left but that would be the closest they would get.

Freshman forward Michael Bolden hit four clutch free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory at 73-83. Bolden had a season-high 17 points to go along with his five rebounds and three assists. Bolden was perfect at the line going 5-5. The Lasers as a team were great from the free throw line shooting an impressive 81.8 percent.

Sophomore guards Kalob Hatcher and Ramon Mejia both added 14 points. Hatcher chipped in eight assists and three rebounds and steals. The leading scorer of the game was Dons’ guard Kevin Ramirez with 18.

IVC topped their first half shooting percentage by making 15 out of 30 attempts for 50 percent. The Lasers did not waste many possessions as they only turned the ball over eight times compared to 16 for the Dons. IVC assisted on 21 of their 28 buckets and held Santa Ana to only eight assists.

IVC improved their record to 17-6 overall and 4-3 in conference. The Lasers are fourth in the standings behind Saddleback, Riverside, and Fullerton but remain hopeful that they can make the postseason.

“We need to work on better shot selection and a balanced attack. We shot 24 3’s which is a lot,” Hernandez said about improvements for their next game.

The Lasers next game is tonight against Orange Coast College on the road. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

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