Citrus Invitational Ends in Two Game Skid For Men's Basketball

Jesse Elrod drains a 3 from the corner. image: Andrew Wheeler
Jesse Elrod drains a 3 from the corner. image: Andrew Wheeler

Men's Basketball hosted the Annual Citrus Invitational Tournament this past weekend, suffering a pair of closely.contested setbacks en route to an 0-2 clip. The Owls lost to Southwestern 77-91 on Friday night, followed by a heartbreaking loss to rival Fullerton College on Saturday night, 86-90.

In the Friday night loss to Southwestern the Owls had a rough patch from the field, sinking just 38% of its shots compared to an impressive 60% by the visitors. Citrus struggled to ignite, forcing Head Coach Brett Lauer to make shifts throughout the game to counter the Southwestern offense. 

Four Citrus players ended the contest in double digit points. Shooting Guard Sam Gagliardi led the Owls in scoring with 19, going 5 for 9 from three point range. Toby Okwuokei put down 15, followed by Josh Caston with 12 points and Colby Orr with 11. 

Saturday's game would look better for Citrus, as the team performed far better on the offensive side, shooting 54% from the field and 48% from long range. Citrus controlled the scoreboard through most of the game, leading for much of the contest until late in the 2nd half, when the competition got fierce between the rival teams. Fullerton would outscore Citrus in the 2nd half 53-45 on the way to the 86-90 loss. The win for Fullerton moves the season series to 1-1 between the rivals, and drops Citrus to a 6-4 preseason record. 

Some bright spots for Citrus were a season best 32 points for Colby Orr, who sank 6 three pointers and was a constant threat with his driving, and Josh Caston and Toby Okwuokei, who had 15 and 16 points, respectively. 

Citrus will lace them up next for a home game against Santiago Canyon this Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM. 

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