SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Santa Ana Men's Basketball team has been busy as they continue their regular conference schedule while making up games in between.
FRIDAY - 2/11/22
SAC Men's Basketball fell 79-77 in Orange Empire Conference action against Golden West after a last second three-pointer by Jonathan Joseph was waved off as time expired.
It was a very competitive game as the Dons and Rustlers changed lead 13 times throughout the game but in the end a controversial fail with 2.3 seconds left led to free throws for Golden West, giving them the late lead.
The Dons were led by Thomas Billinger, who posted 17 points with five rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. Camren Johnson added 15 points, seven boards and three assists while Ian Hietala returned to form with a 13 point, six rebound night.
MONDAY - 2/14/22
Santa Ana Men's Basketball team fought off the Orange Coast Pirates (4-18, 0-12) to pick up a 67-64 win in Monday's Orange Empire Conference game.
Russell Malone gave the Dons a spark off the bench, scoring a team high 13 points with nine boards and two assists in 31 minutes.
As a team, the Dons struggled from three, going just 1-of-18 for the game. But paint touches and winning the rebound battle made up for the tough shooting night.
With the win, the Dons earned their fifth of the season and second in OEC play.
TUESDAY - 2/15/22
The Dons put up a fight against the No. 13 ranked Santiago Canyon Hawks (18-5, 8-4) in Tuesday's OEC matchup.
SAC was down by as much as 11 in the first half but fought back to cut the deficit to just four (45-41) at the break.
Santiago Canyon came out hot in the second half and tried to put the game away for good. But SAC just would not give in easily, as they kept the game close throughout. At the 8:19 mark in the second half, Jonathan Joseph got to the free throw line and knocked a couple down to make it a 68-66 game.
That was as close as the Dons could get as SCC responded with a 16-0 run to all but end the Dons hopes of an upset.
SAC had three players come off the bench to score in double-digits with Dejon Brown going 6-of-10 for 14 points in 19 minutes while Ian Hietala posted 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Jake Duthoy added 11 points to go with 10 boards.
Ben Ahinaquah was the only starter who scored in double-digits as he went a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line and grabbed five rebounds.
SAC will face Orange Coast for a rematch on the road on February 17th at 5:00 p.m. The Pirates just defeated Golden West for their first OEC win of the year.