Pirates come up just short against IVC

Pirates come up just short against IVC

COSTA MESA -- The Orange Coast College men's basketball team had a last-second chance to steal one from visiting Irvine Valley, but in the end, the Lasers, prevailed and handed the Pirates an 83-81 loss on Friday night inside the Peterson Gym.

In spite of the outstanding scoring nights turned in by the OCC trio of Jonathan Ileleji (25 points), Leonard Stallings (24 points) and Kekai Smith (21 points), the Pirates came up one basket short of sweeping the series over the Lasers.

Sadiq Muhammad led the Lasers with 18 points, while Kevin Olsen added 15, Geoff Salas tossed in 13 and Christian Louis contributed 11.

Coast led 40-36 at the half, but IVC came out and used a 24-9 run over the first 10 minutes of the second half to grab an 11-point lead at 60-49.

Led by the Pirate scoring trio, Cost went on a 17-5 run to grab a 66-65 advantage with 7:19 left before IVC answered right back with an 8-0 spurt to regain a seven-point edge just two minutes later.

With IVC holding an 82-77 lead with 22 seconds remaining, OCC used a Malik Skillern layup and a pair of made free throws by Ileleji to get to within a point at 82-81. Mahmud was quickly fouled for Irvine Valley and he made one of his two shots from the free-throw line. 

Coast missed out on a chance to tie the game, but with one second left, a long inbound pass by IVC hit the roof of the gym, giving OCC the ball back with one final chance. Skillern got off a sideline 3-pointer just before the buzzer went off, but the ball rang off of the back iron, preserving the win for the Lasers. 

OCC will return to action on Wednesday at home against Santa Ana, beginning at 5 p.m.