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Ventura runs past Vaqueros, 102-77

Ryan Smith, a freshman guard/forward from Lakeside, Calif., hit 6-8 shots and scored a season-high 13 points. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Ryan Smith, a freshman guard/forward from Lakeside, Calif., hit 6-8 shots and scored a season-high 13 points. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Ventura shot a sizzling 58.2 percent on Saturday night in a 102-77 men's basketball win over SBCC at the Sports Pavilion.

The Pirates (16-7, 4-0) won their fourth in a row to stay in first place in the WSC North. The Vaqueros (1-16, 0-4) hit 39.7 percent, including 10-of-27 from 3-point country.

Both teams had balanced scoring with four Vaqueros between 13 and 17 points and four Pirates between 14 and 17. Ventura dominated the backboards, 51-23.

Sophomore guard Drayten Howell topped SBCC with 17 points and five assists. Aaron Mejia hit 4-9 from long range and added 16 points. Francisco Gutierrez tied his season high with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists while Ryan Smith made 6-8 field goals for a season-best 13 points and seven rebounds.

Santa Barbara was a down a starter as forward Donald Grant missed the game with an injury.

Dondre Watson and Terrel Handy-Johnson topped Ventura with 17 points apiece.

The Pirates shot 57.6 percent in the first half and led by 18 points (52-34).

"We shot the ball better than we have in previous games," said Vaquero coach Morris Hodges. "I thought our intensity was good. We needed to be a little better on dribble penetration."

The Vaqueros travel to Oxnard on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game.