COSTA MESA -- The never-say-die Orange Coast College men's basketball team kept its dream season rolling with a 96-91 overtime win over visiting Santiago Canyon on Friday night inside the Peterson Gym.
In a matchup of two of the top teams in Southern California, the Pirates (17-7, 8-1 in Orange Empire Conference) rode the big shoulders of center Joshua Davis, who dominated down low with a season-best 35 points and 19 rebounds against the Hawks (17-8, 4-5). Davis was 16-of-25 from the floor and used 12 offensive rebounds for several second-chance points throughout the game.
For the Hawks, Rodney Henderson, the state's third-highest scoring player, scored 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Antoine Jenkins added 28 points and eight assists.
The win, combined with Fullerton's win at Saddleback on Friday night, keeps the Pirates a game up on the Hornets with three games remaining. OCC will host Fullerton on Friday night at 7 p.m. after playing at Saddleback on Wednesday night (7 p.m.).
It was a game that epitomized the Pirates' incredible run that's seen them win eight conference games in a row and 15-of-17 games overall. Both teams exchanged leads 18 times throughout the night, but in the end, it was the Pirates who corralled the FINAL lead of the night.
Leading 42-36 at the half, Coast came out strong and built up an 11-point advantage early in the second half.
But Jenkins, who scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half and OT, came alive for the Hawks, who hit 7-of-14 from 3-point range over the final 25 minutes.
SCC went on a 25-14 run over a 10-minute stretch of the second half to get even with OCC at 63 and from there, it was a back-and-forth slugfest all the way down to the final whistle.
A Shaun Maeder 3-pointer with 4:43 left pushed SCC's lead up to 73-68 before back-to-back treys by Harrison and Leonard Stallings put the Pirates back in front, 74-73.
With the game tied at 84, Robert Nixon took a nice pass from Davis and scored with 23 seconds remaining to put OCC up by two, but the Hawks forced overtime when Jenkins worked the clock, used a nice screen and drove to the lane uncontested to tie the game at 86.
A pair of layups by Harrison early in the OT helped give OCC a 90-87 lead before a pair of Jenkins' free throws with 2:44 remaining brought the Hawks to within a point at 90-89.
But that would be as close as Santiago Canyon would get the rest of the night as the Pirate defense clamped down and held the Hawks scoreless over the next 2:30 of OT, going 0-for-4 with a turnover over their next five possessions.
From there, Coast went 6-of-8 from the foul line down the stretch to pull away and preserve the hard-fought win.