The Pirates had four players score in double figures as they defeated Santa Barbara City College 74-58 Wednesday night at the Athletic Event Center. Jamal Lewis netted 17 points to lead VC (8-12, 1-3) while Toure Atwater scored 15 points.
The Pirates used stingy defense early, getting out to a 16-6 lead seven minutes into the contest. However the Vaqueros responded with a 7-0 run to close within three at the ten minute mark. That would be as close as they'd get the rest of the evening as VC used good ball movement and pressure defense respond with a 10-1 run, giving the Pirates a 26-14 lead with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
A balanced offensive attack allowed Ventura to knock down open shots, while defensive pressure helped them to get out and run in transition. A 10 point Pirate lead turned into 13 with a 3-pointer from Atwater with three seconds to play in the half. The Pirates had five players score five or more points in the opening period, taking a 40-27 advantage.
The second half would be more of the same, unselfish offense and stingy defense from Ventura that often limited SBCC one shot before taking off in transition. The Pirates took their lead out to 16 points early in the final 20 minutes with strong offensive rebounding from Vondel Faniel. The Vaqueros did have enough energy to respond and cut the Pirate lead to ten, however they were unable to get any closer. The Pirates closed well, taking their lead back out to as many as 20 points in the game's final minutes, holding on to a 74-58 victory.
The Pirates as a team dominated the glass, out rebounding SBCC 45-28. Offensively, four Pirates finished in double figures, paced by freshman guard Lewis with 17 points, Atwater adding 15 while Faniel and Nathaniel Claxton added 14 and 12, respectively. Faniel notched his third double-double in conference play with his 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jalon Wilson was efficient offensively, scoring seven points, dishing out four assists and swiping six steals, all with no turnovers. Freshman forward Gabriel Lemon was very active on the glass, grabbing seven rebounds.
The Pirate men return home Saturday to face Oxnard College at 5:00 pm, with the VC women taking on the Condors in the nightcap.