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Crandall sparks second straight Vaquero victory, 65-63

Tyler Crandall soars in for two of his season-high 23 points that helped the Vaqueros edge Moorpark 65-63. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Tyler Crandall soars in for two of his season-high 23 points that helped the Vaqueros edge Moorpark 65-63. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Tyler Crandall scored a season-high 23 points with nine rebounds on Wednesday night, guiding SBCC to its second straight men's basketball victory – a 65-63 decision over Moorpark at the Sports Pavilion.

Crandall, a 6-1 freshman from Sacramento, hit 9-14 from the field, 1-2 from the 3-point arc and 4-4 from the free-throw line. He also had four assists and two steals for the Vaqueros (4-16, 2-2 WSC North), who posted their first win at home (1-4).

"I've been kind of picking my spots and coach has been drawing up some good plays," said Crandall. "I'm just going to play within the offense and do whatever is needed of me as far as rebounding, passing or scoring.

"We came in with a good defensive game plan and executed it well. There were a few moments at the end where we just had to fight through it and go on to the next play. We've come through some adversity this year and we just need to build on these two wins."

The Vaqueros jumped out to an 11-0 lead against the Raiders (7-12, 1-3) with five players scoring baskets. They led 19-8 before Moorpark went on a 16-4 run and took a 24-23 lead on a follow shot by Elijah Holts.

Crandall scored 16 in the first half for the second straight game as the Vaqueros built a 38-32 lead.

Robert Hutchins had a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and a trio of 3-pointers. Chris Givens added 11 points, Ben Clay had 10 points and seven rebounds and point guard Drayten Howell contributed six points, five rebounds and six assists.

"We've had a lot of adversity this year but our guys have really hung in there and battled," said coach Morris Hodges. "Their effort has paid off. We're 2-2 in conference now and we're getting rewarded for our hard work.

"Tyler has been playing great lately. He's playing within himself and using real good fundamentals with his pump fakes. He reads the defenses well and he's been finishing his opportunities."

Luis Herrera topped the visitors with 12 points, including 4-10 long-range shooting. SBCC won the shooting battle 46.6 to 40 percent and the board battle 39-31. It was an unusual game with just eight free throws attempted by both teams and only one in the second half.

The Vaqueros took an eight-point lead (63-55) on a layup by Clay with 2:56 to play. The Raiders scored six in a row and got within two on a layup by Herrera with 57.3 seconds left. Clay stole the ball and Crandall delivered a sharp bounce pass for a layup by Howell and a 65-61 lead with 19 seconds.

Herrera made another layup with 0:08 on the clock, then the Vaqueros played keepaway to run out the final seconds.

"We withstood their runs and then we had some ill-timed turnovers down the stretch," Hodges stated. "Despite those turnovers (SBCC had 23), we did a good job of defending their 3-point shooting, particularly down the stretch."

The Raiders hit 9-of-23 from 3-point land and the Vaqueros were 5-13.

Moorpark entered the game as the top scoring team in the WSC North with an 86.0 average. They topped the century mark a week ago in a 101-88 win over Hancock. The Vaqueros held them 23 points below their average in conference.

Santa Barbara travels to Ventura (12-11, 3-1), which shares first with Cuesta, on Saturday for a 5 p.m. contest.