The MSJC men's basketball team had their home opener on Friday night and came away with a hard fought 94-88 win over visiting Rio Hondo.
The Eagles built a 42-35 halftime lead and then withstood a strong open to the second half by the Roadrunners to come away with the victory. An up and down game saw six ties and four lead changes in the game, although the Eagles seemed to be in control most of the evening building their lead to as much as 17 late in the first half. A 7-2 run by Rio Hondo to close the opening half closed the gap to 7 at the break.
The Roadrunners built their biggest lead of the game with 15:11 to play when they pushed their lead to 7 at 59-52 after a four point play by Oliver Miles. From there MSJC chipped away at the lead finally taking it back for good with 8:50 to play on a layup by Latravian Glover to give the Eagles a 69-68 advantage. The game stayed close the rest of the way, but some big plays by several Eagle down the stretch secured the win.
Lenzell Simmons led the way for MSJC with a game high 26 points on 10 of 19 shooting, he connected on 3 of 5 three pointers and also grabbed 6 rebounds and had a pair of blocked shots. Glover finished a strong night with 13 points and 16 rebounds, he also dished out a team high 5 assists. Michael Clark added 14 points, while Chidi Okwarabizie also reached double figures with 10. The Eagles also got strong contributions off the bench from Jamaal Barnes who had 9 points and 7 rebounds, and Kamien Cederlind who also added 9 points.
The win improves MSJC to 2-1 on the season, they will return to action Friday when they take on Imperial Valley as part or the Cuyamaca Tournament in El Cajon. The Eagles game on Friday is set to tip-off at 8 pm.