Bear Cubs win in overtime

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Tom Rivas

Freshman point guard Justin Frazier pulls up and makes a mid-range jumper in SRJC's 91-84 overtime victory over Foothill College on Nov. 11 at Haehl Pavilion.

Albert Gregory, Sports Editor

 

Freshman guard Jordan Graves made a 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds left in the game to tie it up and send it to overtime and the Bear Cubs won 91-84 in their home-opener against Foothill College Nov. 11 at Haehl Pavilion.

“I think we played well; we really came together at the end,” said sophomore forward Justin Botteri. “Jordan [Graves] especially, he came in off the bench in the last five or 10 minutes of the game and made the play to send us into overtime.”

With less than six minutes left in the game the Bear Cubs were down by 10 but then went on a 11-2 run that included three back-to-back 3-pointers, which gave them a 69-68 lead with less than four minutes left in the game.

It remained close for the rest of the regulation, and with 40 seconds left in the game Foothill had a 79-76 lead. SRJC began intentionally fouling. After Foothill missed both free-throws, SRJC drove down the court, and with 11.8 seconds left in regulation Graves made his game-tying shot.

“We were out of the game pretty much down 10 late but we rallied and didn’t give up, didn’t hang our heads and made some big shots and some big plays and we’re able to stick with it,” said head coach Craig McMillan.

Santa Rosa Junior College struggled in the first half against a very aggressive Foothill team that defended the Bear Cubs with a full court press and played with an up-tempo offense.

“In the first half it was kind of iffy but the second half, we picked it up,” said freshmen guard Gabe Knight.

After being down by as much as 12 in the first half, SRJC made a push in the final minutes to take a 39-38 lead into halftime.

“I liked a lot of the stuff we did,” McMillan said. “There was a lot of mistakes I think both ways, but they really played hard and both teams battled and both teams made some big shots and some big plays.”

In the second half, Foothill’s offense continued to have success, which consisted of their talented point guard driving into the post to score and kicking it out when necessary.

“I think we didn’t do as well as we should’ve on defense,” said John Montez. “Our matchups were bad from the beginning. We didn’t execute and keep them out of the paint, which was our game plan.”

In overtime the Bear Cubs played great on both sides of the floor and cruised to victory. Freshmen guard Justin Frazier capped off the game with a steal and easy fast break score.

SRJC may face Foothill again soon in the Shasta Tournament on Nov. 18.

“There’s a lot of good teams,” McMillan said. “We could probably beat just about anybody and just about anybody could probably beat us.”