It took clutch plays down the stretch and free throws in the final seconds to secure the win, but in the end, it was a home-opening triumph for the MiraCosta College men's basketball team in an 83-80 decision against West Los Angeles College on Tuesday night.
With the score tied 75-75 with 1:30 left on the clock, the Spartans drew up a play after an inbounds, which led to Brady Twombly finding Austin Bryant in the middle of the lane for a turn-around layup. 32 second later, Daymarcco Green drove to the basket and finished with an and-1 to make it 82-77 MiraCosta.
West L.A., however, struck back with a 3-pointer 10 seconds later to get within one score, and then had the ball with 19.6 seconds to go and a chance to tie the game or take the lead. A missed shot then led to a big rebound by Twombly, who drew the foul and sank a free throw with 3.6 seconds left.
Bryant, who entered the game as the second leading scorer in all of the California Community College Athletic Association at 22.9 points per game, led all scorers with 28 on Tuesday.
In addition to dominating in the paint, Bryant connect on three 3-pointers while Twombly had four three's and 16 points. Brett Hollins asserted himself on the glass early to score nine of the team's first 19 points on way to finishing with 16.
In fact, Hollins and Bryant combined to score each of MiraCosta's first 14 points (7 apieice) as the Spartans jumped out to hold leads of 14-10 and later 28-22 in the first half.
MiraCosta then closed the opening 20 minutes on a 9-1 run to take a 43-35 advantage into the break, and looked to be in control with a 55-40 lead early in the second half. However, West L.A. turned up the defensive pressure and began to chip away a little bit at a time before utlimately getting all the way to within one point at 55-54 with just over 11 minutes left to play.
With the win, MiraCosta improves its winning streak to three games and moves to .500 on the season at 6-6. West L.A. fell to 7-5.
Next up, the Spartans will travel to battle El Camino College on Friday, December 9.