Pirates edged by L.A. Southwest in tourney title game

Pirates edged by L.A. Southwest in tourney title game

LOS ANGELES -- The Orange Coast College men's basketball team came as close as possible to claiming a second straight tournament title, but came up a point short to host L.A. Southwest College, 88-87 on Saturday afternoon.

OCC (7-6) opened up the LASW Tournament with a solid 78-57 win over Allan Hancock College on Thursday. Coast outscored the Bulldogs, 42-24, in the first half and never looked back. 

Malik Skillern led the way with 15 points for Coast, while Kupaa Harrison and Lloyd Wright each added 14 as the Pirates shot an impressive 32-of-65 (49.2 percent) from the floor. OCC's defense forced 30 AHC turnovers and held the Bulldogs to just 19-of-43 shooting for the game.

In the championship semifinals, Coast again used a strong first half (42-28) to pull away from Rio Hondo, topping the Roadrunners, 76-62. Joshua Davis was a beast down low, leading the Pirates with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Harrison added 17 points and five boards, while Wright added 12 points.

In the finals Coast again jumped out in front and held a 48-34 lead at the half. But the Cougars (6-6) answered back, overcoming a 15-point deficit with just under six minutes remaining in the game. A bucket by LASW's Isaiah Hawk in the final seconds proved to be the difference maker as the Pirates' five game win streak came to an end.

Wright notched his season high with 34 points, including a perfect 14-of-14 from the free-throw line. Davis added 20 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Harrison added 11 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists. 

Off the bench, Rachaun Echols provided solid support with 22 points and nine rebounds over the three-game tournament.

OCC will return to action on Dec. 28 at the College of the Canyons Tournament against Ohlone College, beginning at 3 p.m.