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College Basketball

Slow Start Dooms SBCC Against Cuesta

Cuesta stormed out to a 26-2 lead in the first eight minutes on Wednesday night and went on to defeat SBCC 83-54 in a WSC North men’s basketball game at the Sports Pavilion.

The Vaqueros (5-11, 0-2) didn’t get a field goal until Evan Tillman made a layup with 11:15 to go in the first half. He added a 3-pointer on the next possession to ignite a 22-9 run that cut the deficit to 35-24 with 5:08 to go.

 Tillman led the Vaqueros with 17 points and nine rebounds. Tejon Williams had a double-double, scoring all 15 of his points in the first half and grabbing 12 rebounds for the game.

 Cuesta, ranked No. 11 in Southern Cal, led 41-30 at intermission. Roberto Mantovani, a 6-8 sophomore from Larnaca, Cypress, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. He finished with 25 points, 21 boards and three blocked shots.

 “We couldn’t buy a bucket at the start and they were hitting everything,” noted SBCC coach Morris Hodges. “We got a few stops and fought our way back into it by halftime. We knew the first five minutes of the second half would be critical and we just didn’t respond.”

 The Cougars (16-6, 3-0) outshot the Vaqueros 48.6 to 36.4 percent and won the board battle 48-36. They drained 12-of-28 from 3-point country and only committed six turnovers. Cuesta opened the second half on a 16-4 burst, extending the lead to 57-34 on a 3-pointer by Rafail Eleftheriou.

 The Vaqueros went on a 12-2 run and got within 13 (59-46) on a tip-in by Tillman with 7:41 to play but couldn’t get any closer.
 SBCC plays at Oxnard on Saturday with tip-off at 3 p.m.

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