The Saddleback men's basketball team finished off the non-conference schedule with a 71-38 win over Glendale College on Saturday in the Saddleback Gymnasium. The Gauchos will start Orange Empire Conference play on Friday.
Saddleback has had an up and down start to the season but finished the holiday season with an impressive win on Saturday. The Gauchos trailed only once in the game before streaking to a comfortable win to end the 2017 portion of the season.
Saddleback had a slow start and trailed 7-6 with just over 14 minutes remaining in the opening half. Colin Ferrier then got the Gauchos revved up with a three-pointer and they never looked back in improving to 8-8 on the season. It was just the beginning of things for Ferrier (pictured), who finished 3-for-6 from beyond the arc after coming off the bench.
Saddleback led 38-19 at the half as a result of some sticky defense. The Gauchos held Glendale to 26% shooting in the opening half while outrebounding the Vaqueros 22-11. Shawn Stith was a dominating force in the middle for Saddleback, finishing the opening half with 12 points and four rebounds. The Gauchos held Glendale scoreless for 6:42 during one stretch as the Vaqueros were 0-for-10 with four turnovers during the cold streak. The Vaqueros finished with only six points over the final 12:41 of the opening half.
Glendale opened the second half by making some adjustments and climbing back to within 12 points with just under 14 minutes remaining in the game. The Gauchos again answered with Ferrier, who buried another three-pointer to extend the lead and start another Saddleback surge. Isaiah Brooks extended the lead to 20 with a three-pointer of his own at the 10:22 mark and then Reggie Varner's bomb from beyond the arc gave the Gauchos a 25-point lead with 6:14 remaining. Saddleback had its biggest lead of the game at 35 points after Chance Kalaugher drained a three-pointer with 1:54 left on the clock.
Saddleback finished 8-of-20 from three-point range for the night, outrebounding Glendale 46-24. Stith finished with a game-high 16 points while Nicholas Brannon and Anthony Naimie tied for the team lead with seven rebounds apiece.
Saddleback (8-8) will open OEC play on Friday night when they host inter-district rival Irvine Valley College (11-6) at the Saddleback Gymnasium. Tip time is scheduled for 5:00 PM.