CYPRESS, CA – The Cypress College men's basketball team (7-12, 1-3 OEC) earned their first Orange Empire Conference victory on Wednesday night against the visiting Irvine Valley Lasers (13-9, 2-3 OEC), 75-72. The victory moves the Chargers into a 4-way tie for sixth place in the OEC standings.
Freshman forward Mike Magee led the way for Cypress with a game-high 24 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman guard Kyle Small added a season-high 12 points on four 3-pointers to go along with 5 assists on the night.
The Lasers' Jake Linsky and Daniel Chatman each scored 18 points to lead Irvine Valley. Daniel Hernandez added 14 points.
The Chargers struggled early as the Lasers jumped out to a 15-4 lead. Cypress answered with a slurry of 3-pointers and stops on the defensive end to tie the game at 15 apiece. However, IVC ended the half with a 6-0 run to take a 39-35 lead into the break. It was the first time the Chargers trailed at the half in a conference game this season.
It was a battle in the second half, as both teams continued trading baskets. Small, who hit three of his four 3-pointers in the second half, gave Cypress the lead at the seven-minute mark. Magee took over the game down the stretch, scoring 11 of Cypress' final 13 points, while going 7-of-7 at the line to seal the victory for the Chargers.
Cypress men's basketball, who lost their first three OEC games to the top-three teams in the conference by a combined total of just 15 points, has proven they have the ability to compete with anybody. They will look to keep the ball rolling on the road Friday night when they take on Santa Ana College at 5:00pm.
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