A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

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Amy Moore, Reporter • February 14, 2024

SRJC Men’s Basketball come back to beat Diablo Valley College Vikings 72-61

SRJC+forward+Justin+Smith+shoots+a+floater+late+in+the+game+over+Vikings+forward+Michael+Wood+in+a+conference+matchup+against+Diablo+Valley+College+at+Santa+Rosas+Haehl+Pavillion+Jan.+23%2C+2024
Sam Guzman
SRJC forward Justin Smith shoots a floater late in the game over Vikings forward Michael Wood in a conference matchup against Diablo Valley College at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavillion Jan. 23, 2024

The Santa Rosa Junior College Bear Cubs battled back after a rough first half to notch their fourth conference win in a row against the Diablo Valley College Vikings by a score of 72-61. 

Without their leading scorer and starting point guard Chris Holley for the first time in conference play, the Bear Cubs struggled to find their identity on offense but were able to right the ship in the second half. Guard Yatyn Anderson led the way with 20 points and 6 assists and took control of the SRJC offense as the game went on.

SRJC Guard Yatyn Anderson makes a skip pass in the first half against the Diablo Valley College Vikings at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavilion Jan. 23, 2024 (Sam Guzman)

The first half had a slow start with both teams only scoring five points each in the first five minutes of action. The two defenses dominated early, forcing turnovers and tough shots on each side. Guard Andrew Pengel had the highlight of the half with an athletic chase down block to stop a DVC fast break.

Of the 15 SRJC turnovers in the game, most came in the first half. However, the main story of the half was poor shot selection and shot making by the Bear Cubs. The team opted for a number of contested three pointers and missed plenty of layups and forced up difficult shots while attacking the rim. Forward Justin Smith even missed a dunk attempt over a DVC forward which surely would’ve brought the house down. 

The first half ended 33-26 with DVC ahead at the break.

“We were missing Chris Holley, who does a whole lot for this team, took us a while to adjust playing without him, everyone was kinda just standing around,” said SRJC Head Coach Craig McMillan, “I thought in the first half we settled for just firing up too many 3’s.” 

After the break, the Bear Cubs came out firing, they cut into the lead right away and found their identity on offense after 20-plus minutes of game time – attacking the basket. Repeatedly throughout the half, SRJC was in attack mode, in part due to the full-court trap that Diablo Valley implemented in the second half. 

DVC deciding to run a full-court press in the hopes of forcing even more turnovers ended up being their downfall. Yatyn Anderson was able to use the extra spacing to find driving lanes and made some excellent passes to Justin Smith who dominated the paint once Diablo Valley forward Michael Wood fouled out midway through the second half. 

“A couple times we lost our heads a little bit, deer in the headlights, but I thought we got more out of their pressure as far as attacking and getting good shots,” said McMillan

The Bear Cubs’ increased aggression towards the end of the game got them plenty of trips to the free throw line, they went 20-27 and managed to extend their lead to double digits in the final minutes. 

“I was really happy with the team effort, to go out and beat a good team, come from behind without the guy that’s been our best player and our leader all year, it says a lot about these guys,” McMillan said.

The Bear Cubs will look to build on this winning streak as they travel to Folsom Lake College to take on the Falcons on Friday, January 26, at 5:30 p.m.

SRJC forward Ezekiel Stallworth advances the ball past half court guarded by DVC guard Khai Curry in the second half of the conference game against Diablo Valley College at Santa Rosa’s Haehl Pavillion Jan. 23, 2024 (Sam Guzman)
About the Contributors
Cameron Romanik, Sports Editor
Cameron Romanik (he/him) is in his third semester at SRJC and his second at The Oak Leaf. He's very knowledgeable about sports, and loves to share his opinions and insight. He also is often focused on music and film, and stays up to date with what's popular and successful in those fields.
Sam Guzman, Editor
Sam Guzman is in his 2nd semester at the Oak Leaf, and is currently working towards transferring to San Francisco State to major in journalism next Fall.