The Pirates hosted Pierce College Wednesday evening in a game characterized by inconsistency play at both ends. Vondel Faniel had another double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds while Robert Hunt added 10 points as Ventura fell to the visiting Brahmas, 74-63.
Pirate mistakes, including eight quick turnovers, allowed Pierce to jump out to an early 19-6 lead. Ventura responded well, following a timeout, putting together a 7-0 run to cut the deficit down to six at the halfway point of the first half. Another Pierce run followed stretching the advantage back out to double figures. However, the Pirates kept fighting, clawing back with in six points late in the period behind tough work on the glass from sophomore forwards Faniel and Eric Davis.
The half came to a close much like it started with Pierce steals turning into easy offense. The Brahmas took a 40-27 lead into intermission. First half scoring was well balanced for the Pirates, while dominating the glass as a team in the first half, 19-12. VC, unfortunately, also dominated the turnover margin during the first 20 minutes 14-2.
The Pirates came out swinging in the second half putting together an 18-10 run on the Brahmas, cutting the lead to five six minutes into the final half. Pierce once again answered back with a run of their own, drawing the lead out to as many 20 points. Hunt and Faniel led another Pirate surge, but it would not be enough for Ventura to overcome their inconsistent play. Pierce hung on for the 74-63 win.
Faniel finished with yet another double double, grabbing 16 rebounds to go along with his game high 19 points. Hunt pitched in 10, doing most of his scoring in the second half. Freshman Steven Bush netted nine while Davis added six points to go with his eight rebounds.
The Pirates continued to dominate the glass, winning the rebound battle 44-30. Nevertheless the Pirates could not overcome 22 turnovers and a 3-24 shooting night from the perimeter.
VC next travels up the coast Saturday Feb. 14 to face Santa Barbara City College. Tip is set for 5:00 pm with the Pirate women to follow.