By Wes McCurtis
CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College men's basketball team (6-10, 0-1 OEC) dropped their Orange Empire Conference home opener against No. 15 Copper Mountain College (14-4, 1-0 OEC) on Wednesday night, 70-79. It was the first ever match-up between the two schools.
Sophomore Brennon Palmer led the way for Cypress with a game-high 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Palmer added 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals on the night. Freshman Mike Magee finished with 15 points and 5 boards.
Ronald Bell, Murshid Randle, and Jaleel Simmons carried the load for the Fighting Cacti. Bell finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds. Simmons scored 14 points to go along with 3 assists and 3 steals. Randle added 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting off the bench.
The Chargers put together a great first half performance, knocking down 7 three-pointers, while shooting 48% from the field to take a 39-36 lead at the half. Cypress came out firing to begin the second half, going on an 8-0 run to take an 11-point with eighteen minutes remaining.
Cypress held a 55-47 lead with just under twelve minutes left to play. However, Copper Mountain amped up their defensive pressure to hold the Chargers scoreless for a four minute stretch to take a 60-55 lead. The Chargers managed to keep within reach but could not make shots down the final stretch as they went on to lose, 70-79.
The Chargers will look to bounce back against Orange Coast College on the road this Friday at 5:00pm.
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