The Pierce College men’s basketball team won its second game in a row after defeating the College of the Desert Roadrunners 82-68 at Pierce on Saturday, Nov. 22.
The Brahmas started off cold on offense, scoring only 8 points in the first seven minutes of the game. However, Pierce went on a 9-3 scoring run over the next two minutes to push the lead into double digits.
The Roadrunners countered with a full-court press on defense that initially caused several errant passes and turnovers by Pierce, but the Brahmas were able to break the press and maintain their lead for the rest of the game.
The Brahmas led 40-28 at halftime and never let the lead drop below 10 points in the second half.
Pierce point guard JR Williams orchestrated the team’s offense and helped the Brahmas break the Roadrunners’ press early on.
“We just had to slow things down and find the seams in their press and attack them,” Williams said. “As a floor leader and point guard, I have to make sure that I put my teammates in the best position to score and succeed.”
Williams finished with 12 points and 10 assists.
Pierce head coach Ed Babayan praised the performances of Williams and the other guards and wing players, saying that they’re essential to the team’s offensive success.
“JR knows how to play against teams that press and trap. He did a good job of controlling us throughout this game,” Babayan said. “We don’t have much of a post presence right now, so everything we’re doing is based on our guards, forwards and wings.”
Swingman Kaelan Hicks led the team in scoring with 17 points, including a dunk that excited the crowd and the Pierce bench during the second half.
“It felt awesome. That was my first dunk of the season,” Hicks said.
Hicks said that this was a good win, but emphasized that the team’s defense has to continue to improve. Pierce allowed the Roadrunners to score 40 points in the second half compared to 28 in the first.
“We did a lot better on defense than in previous games, but there’s still a lot of work we can do,” Hicks said.
College of the Desert head coach Henry Viveros said that Pierce pressured his team on both ends of the floor from the opening tip.
“Pierce handled our pressure well. They knew what we were going to be doing, and they just played better than we did,” Viveros said. “They stretched us out on the defensive end and ran really good offense.”
With this win, the Brahmas improved to 3-2 overall.
Babayan said that the team has to treat each game as a learning experience to continue to improve as the season progresses.
“This is only our fifth game and we’re trying to get better. It’s not just about this game. It’s about the 20 more that are left,” Babayan said.
The Brahmas will compete in a tournament in Bakersfield from Nov. 28-30. The team has two more tournaments in December before it returns to Pierce on Dec. 19 to play Bakersfield College.