Game Preview: CCCAA Regional Round Two
The Citrus College Men's Basketball was given the #17 seed in the 2013 California Community College Men's Basketball Southern California playoffs. The Owls will be on the road on Saturday when they take on #1 Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.
About the Matchup
This is only the second meeting between Citrus College and Saddleback College since the 2006-2007 season. That meeting came back during the 2010 post-season, when the Owls and Gauchos squared off in the CCCAA Final Four. In what was a back and forth battle all game long, Saddleback outlasted Citrus 55-54 on its way to winning the State Title the next day. Over the last six years, Saddleback and Citrus have easily been the most successful programs in Southern California, and arguably two of the top four programs in the State.
About the Gauchos
Saddleback comes into Saturday night's contest riding a 15 game winnings streak. Saddleback is known for a tenacious defensive style and a controlled tempo on offensive sets. The Gauchos have held opponents to under 60 points (Citrus averages 80.6 ppg) in each of their 15 games on this current streak.
The Gauchos are talented and deep. Darnell Taylor leads the way for Saddleback scoring 11.8 points per game, but Josh Smith isn't far behind averaging 9.6 points and a team best 6.0 rebounds per game. Taylor is also second on the team in assists, averaging 2.3 per contest.
The Owls arrive at today's game thanks to a 84-67 win at #16 Cuesta College on Wednesday night. Despite hitting just three threes on the night, the Owls pounded the Cougars on the glass (43-32) and held a steady hand at the charity stripe (31 of 37) to defeat Cuesta for the fourth time in the last seven years in the playoffs. Sophomore Kerry Carter led the way with a team high 23 points. Sophomore Gregory Sequele added 15 with sophomore Steven Thornton Jr. scoring 12. Freshman Darius Middleton handed out six assists, and sophomore Brent Watkins came off the bench to secure a game high eight rebounds.
Saturday night's game will be a game of two contrasting styles. The team that does a better job of imposing their will in the game will likely be the victor. That has been a storyline for the Owls all season long. Of their 10 losses, five came when the Owls were held to under 70 points. By contrast in each of their 16 wins, Citrus scored at least 70 points. Saddleback meanwhile is holding opponents to under 60 points in 15 straight games and has done so in 20 total games this year. Conversely the Gauchos are averaging 65.8 points a game.
How to Follow
There are three ways to follow the Citrus College Men's Basketball team at Saddleback College on Saturday evening. The first is to attend in person at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. Admission is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students with valid Citrus ID. Parking for the game is available in Lots 1, 1A, 1B, and 4.
The second is to follow @ccfightingowls on Twitter, where we will be posting periodic updates.