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Chargers Stay in Third Place in the OEC with Win Against the Dons

Chargers Stay in Third Place in the OEC with Win Against the Dons

CYPRESS, CA- Cypress men's basketball (16-10, 9-5 OEC) defeated the Santa Ana Dons (9-16, 5-8 OEC) on Friday night, 78-59.

Fans filled Don Johnson Court for the double-header as the men's game followed an intense women's matchup. With the crowd donning black attire for the Black-Out game Cypress looked to earn their ninth conference win. The third place Chargers battled the seventh place Dons to keep their standing at the top of the Orange Empire Conference. 

As the game began, Cypress seeked to separate themselves early on. Ten minutes into the first half, the Chargers earned a double-digit edge. The visiting Dons crept back in slowly as the 14-point lead vanished. Cypress allowed Santa Ana to come within one point as the conclusion of the first 20 minutes neared. Blake Ballard nailed a three with under a minute left of play in the half to make the score 31-28.  

The second half was a game of possession as every blocked shot or rebound energized the benches. Cypress took advantage of every foul they drew from Santa Ana and quickly regained their double-digit edge four minutes into the second frame. As the Dons attempted a comeback, a pair of back-to-back three's from B. Ballard helped Cypress keep their distance on the scoreboard. Afterwards, the home team worked to maintain their hefty lead and even grew their advantage to 18-points. The Chargers walked away with their ninth conference win to stay in the top three of the OEC. 

B. Ballard led the scoring effort for both teams with his 24-points as he was perfect at the free throw line and had two steals. Allen Wright achieved a double-double as he found the bucket for 23-points and came down with 11-rebounds. And Hadi Essayli was a shot away from his own double-double as he scored 8-points and also rebounded the ball 11 times. Cypress is headed into their final two conference games of the season with matchups against Santiago Canyon and Irvine Valley.  

UP NEXT: Cypress will host their final home game of the season on Tuesday, February 14th. The Chargers will take on Santiago Canyon at 5pm. 

Stay connected with the Chargers through social media. Follow Cypress College Athletics on Twitter @CypressChargers. Check in with the Chargers on Facebook/CypressChargers and on Instagram @CypressChargers.