Glendora, CA – In their first contest in 17 days, the Citrus College Men's Basketball team looked rusty when they hosted Rio Hondo College. The Owls shot just 36.7% from the floor overall and 28.1% from downtown, but still got enough down to defeat the visiting Roadrunners 75-53.
The Owls would lead wire to wire on Tuesday evening, with freshman Andrew Ammann scoring on Citrus' first possession hitting a triple off a pass from sophomore Kenneth Cyprian. The Roadrunners would get on the board a few possessions later, but Citrus would go on a 15-2 run that started on a layup by sophomore Tyler LaCour with 17:52 to go and ended on a fast-break layup that saw freshman Khalil Williams go coast to coast to make it 18-4 with 15:07 to go in the first half.
From that point forward, Citrus' lead never dipped below double-digits. The closest Rio Hondo would get it would be 11, midway through the first period, but that sparked a small 10-2 run that saw freshman Alexios Ziska burry a pair from downtown. The Roadrunners would then get their deficit down to 12 points with 1:40 left in the first half, but Williams hit a three, and Cyprian matched Rio Hondo's free-throws as Citrus went into the break, up 41-28.
In the second half it was much of the same story. Rio Hondo once again closed the window to within 12 points in the opening minutes, but the Owls used a 10-0 spurt featuring another Ziska triple, a three from sophomore Kyle Gray, and layups by Williams and sophomore Calvin Martin to go up 22, 53-31. The 22 point difference, would be Citrus' largest lead of the night, and the Roadrunners never really challenged the rest of the way.
In the win, Citrus was paced by Williams' game high 15 off the bench for the Owls. Ziska would add a season high 11 points going 3 for 4 from beyond the 3-point arc, and Gray would reel in a team high 10 boards and hand out a team best six assists in 22 minutes off the bench. Cyprian rounded out the superlatives with nine points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
With the win, Citrus improves to 13-3 on the season. The Owls will be back in action this weekend as they wrap-up pre-conference play by participating in the first ever Chaffey Challenge Tournament hosted by Chaffey College. The Owls face a tall test in the opening round when they take on State #11 El Camino College-Compton Center in the opening round on Friday at 7:00 PM.