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Cuesta rallies for 86-77 win in double OT

Sophomore guard Robert Hutchins scored a game-high 25 points with five steals and four assists. He's 10th in the state in scoring with a 20.4 average. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Sophomore guard Robert Hutchins scored a game-high 25 points with five steals and four assists. He's 10th in the state in scoring with a 20.4 average. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Noah Saunders scored all 19 of his points in the second half and overtime on Saturday, including two game-tying shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime, as Cuesta rallied for an 86-77 men's basketball win over SBCC in double overtime.

The first-place Cougars (12-12, 5-1 WSC North) trailed by eight points with 10 minutes to play and by six (62-56) with 1:39 remaining. Robert Hutchins, who led all scorers with 25 points, made a backdoor layup on a nice bounce pass from Drayten Howell for a 65-62 Vaquero lead with 20 seconds left in regulation.

Ben Clay tallied 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Vaqueros while Howell had 14 points and six assists. Tyler Crandall chipped in with 10 points and eight boards.

Santa Barbara (4-18, 2-4) tipped a pass and it went out-of-bounds to Cuesta with 0.8 on the clock. Eric Horn in-bounded from the left side and threw a long bounce pass under the basket to Saunders, who nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner to send it into overtime at 65-all.

The Vaqueros led for most of the first five-minute extra session and went up 73-71 when Howell swished a triple with 14.9 ticks. Howell tipped a pass and it went off Clay out-of-bounds with 3.3 seconds.

The Cougars in-bounded from the far sideline, near the hash mark and ran a back pick to free up Saunders for a lob pass from Donovin Townsend. Saunders laid it in to tie it at 73 and force a second OT.

Saunders, who also had 10 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer early in the second OT, igniting an 8-1 run that gave the visitors an 81-74 lead with 3:11 to play. He scored nine of his team's 21 points in the overtimes.

The Cougars hit 15-of-17 free throws in the game and outscored the Vaqueros 13-4 in the second overtime.

"I thought we played well, we had the lead and then at the end of regulation, we were giving up too many straight-line dribble penetrations that led to layups," said SBCC coach Morris Hodges. "On the last possession of the first overtime, I thought we did a great job of playing defense for 12 seconds, then we tipped it out of bounds with 3 seconds and they ran that wheel play.

"We had our chances. We had a couple of breakdowns defensively."

Hutchins hit 10-23 from the field and also had five steals and four assists. The Vaqueros only had seven players and four of them played between 44 and 47 of the 50 minutes.

"We ran out of gas in the second overtime," added Hodges. "Our effort and resolve were really good but there were some execution things we could have done better."

The Vaqueros return to action on Wednesday at Oxnard with tip-off at 5 p.m.