JOSHUA TREE –– It was a win for the record books Friday night inside the Bell Center as the Copper Mountain College Fighting Cacti took on the No. 1 ranked team in the state, Fullerton College.
The Fighting Cacti men’s team kicked off the night and didn’t disappoint the hometown crowd, winning 69-63.
The CMC men took control at the start of the game and went into the half 38-27.
“Great execution on offense and discipline on defense allowed CMC to take the 11-point advantage into the half,” said assistant coach Britain Kelly.
The second half put the crowd on edge of their seats as Fullerton tried to come back from CMC’s early lead. The teams were neck and neck until freshman Guard Will Valsien sunk two free throws with 13 seconds left to seal the victory for the Fighting Cacti 69-63.
Dominique Anderson had a great game with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Valsien chipped in 13 points for the Fighting Cacti. With the win, Copper Mountain improves to 13-8 on the year and 3-2 in the Orange Empire conference.
The Fighting Cacti women didn’t fare as well with the high-ranking program.
The teams started off the night with a close first quarter but during the second quarter, Fullerton leapt ahead, making 23 points to CMC’s seven. Fullerton had a 14-point lead at halftime.
The Fighting Cacti were not able to make up this deficit and ended the game with a loss of 65-86.
Top scorers of the night were Chezerae Bogan-Osbey with 22 points and 16 rebounds, Tusitusia Brown with 17 points and 10 rebounds and LeLisa Watson with 15 points and five rebounds.
Next up for the CMC women’s team is an away game against Santa Ana College Friday, Feb. 1. Tip-off will be 5 p.m.
Both teams will then return to the Bell Center on Feb. 6 for back-to-back home games against Santiago Canyon. The men’s team tips off at 5 p.m. and the women at 7.