The Long Beach City College men's basketball team took to their home court Friday night for the final time in the 2016-17 campaign and played host to the LA Southwest Cougars. On a night that was dedicated Coaches vs. Cancer while honoring the sophomores, the Vikings rose to the occasion to haul in a 92-80 victory.
The Vikings did not get off to the best start as they found themselves down by six points just five minutes into the contest. However, the Vikings began to chip away at the lead and bring themselves within four points after a layup by freshman guard Matt Arrivas (Sacramento, CA). Sophomore guard Breamon Richard (Los Angeles, CA) followed by nailing a jumper, backed by a dunk from Arrivas that was assisted by freshman guard William English (Long Beach, CA).
Freshman guard Tyler Dees (Downey, CA) entered into the contest and made an immediate impact by kissing two points off the glass then burying a triple to bring the Vikings within one point of a tie score. Freshman guard Duwane Hicks (Detroit, MI) flushed a free throw on the flowing possession to bring the score to 22-all at the 10-minute mark.
Dees gave LBCC their first lead of the game after recording another layup and English expanded that lead by completing an and-one play. English and Dees continued to carry the offense by combining for the next six points during a three-minute timespan. Freshman guard Mark Neal Jr. (Long Beach, CA) chipped in on the offensive front by finishing an and-one play as well to bring the score to 36-29 with five minute remaining in the first half.
Richard ignited in the final three minutes by hitting two jumpers and drilling a pair of free throws. Arrivas capped off the opening 20-minutes of play with a tip-in bucket to give Long Beach a 45-38 advantage entering halftime.
After sitting on the bench for most of the first half due to foul trouble, freshman guard Charles Smith (Downey, CA) came out strong in the second half by recording two layups to push the Viking's lead to 10 points. English remained hot by hitting a jumper, a three pointer, and a layup, respectfully, to push the score to 52-62 at the halfway points.
A small LA Southwest run trimmed the Vikings lead to two points, but it was quickly axed by Smith and English combining for five points on consecutive possessions. English followed with another triple two possession later, followed by an alley-oop from Richard to Arrivas.
Richard handled the remainder of the offensive duties under three minute by going 8-for-8 from the line and hitting a jumper leading to a 92-80 win.
Richard, who has finished in double-digit scoring every game this season, paced the floor with 26 points. He was backed by a strong bench that featured English netting 20 points and Dees chipping in a crucial 13 points.
Arrivas was one point shy of a double-double by crashing the boards for 11 rebounds and netting nine points.
The Vikings (7-17, 3-5 SCC) will face off against the Cerritos College Falcons on the road on Wednesday, February 15 at 5 p.m.