Desert (1-10) broke their 15-game losing streak with only seven active players and all five starters scoring in double figures, as the Roadrunners knocked off the Imperial Valley Arabs (2-13), 92-88.
Desert maintained a lead for just about the entire game, reaching as high as a 14 point lead in the first half and a 16 point lead in the second half. In the first half, holding the Arabs to 35 points, Desert went from a 2-point lead to a 14-point lead, with huge shots from sophomore starting guard Philippe Salawa (Fontana A.B. Miller) and sophomore starting guard Weijie Zhang (Carlsbad Army-Navy), totaling three layups and hitting two shots beyond the arc.
Starting off the second half, the Roadrunners seemed to have narrowed their focus, connecting on a significantly higher amount of shots than the start of the first half, which fed into their 15 percent higher scoring percentage beyond the arc and 12 percent higher free-throw percentage. Not until the final minutes of the game did Imperial Valley begin to inch their way back onto the board, but not enough to grab the lead from the Roadrunners. In the final eight seconds, the Arabs committed a personal foul, which was followed by offsetting technical fouls, but the result remained the same, solidifying the Desert win, 92-88.
Salawa grabbed his third double-double of the season, leading the team with 26 points, on 9 of 21 shooting, including going 6 of 8 from the free throw line, along with grabbing 10 total rebounds. He scored 10 of his total 26 points in the first half. Salawa also led the team with six blocked shots on the afternoon.
Freshman starting guard Andre Allen (Chino Don Lugo) collected 21 points on 4 of 9 shooting, going a remarkable 11 of 12 from the charity stripe and 2 of 4 from beyond the arc, leading the team with nine assists.
Zhang added 16 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including going 3 of 5 from three-point range and grabbing two steals. Freshman starting guard Donald Nesby (Rialto H.S.) contributed 14 points with five assists, he scored 10 of his 14 points in a strong first half, and freshman starting guard Arion Stevenson (Moreno Valley Canyon Springs) put up 10 points on 2 of 8 shooting, including going a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
The Roadrunners snapped a 15-game losing streak, which streatched back to January 27, 2017, when Desert hosted the Palomar Comets in Palm Desert, knocking off the visitors, 96-94.
Next home game for College of the Desert Men's Basketball will be January 12th at 7p against the MiraCosta Spartans. If you are unable to make the game in person, follow the action live at CODathletics.com. Hope to see you there.
Story by Ashtyn Lyneis (COD Sports Information)
Photo by Rodrigo Pena
Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.