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Mustangs Play with Purpose
Men Roll Behind Simmons, But Women Struggle in Loss
Delta College’s Nicolas Guzman drives against Sierra’s Khalil Foster during the first half of Tuesday’s game at Joe Blanchard Gymnasium.
Calixtro Romias/The Record
By Scott Niendorf
January 08, 2014
STOCKTON - The Delta College men's basketball team quickly figured out how to handle Sierra's pressure defense, but the Delta women suffered from a poor shooting night.
The Mustangs beat the Sierra men 71-49 Tuesday in their Big 8 Conference opener at Joe Blanchard Gymnasium, while the Delta women lost 69-63.
Alex Simmons made five of the Mustangs' 11 3-pointers for a game-high 17 points and Jerrel Green had 12 points to the Delta men to the convincing win.
The Wolverines closed to within 51-36 on two free throws by Pogos Trunyan with 15 minutes left, but the Mustangs (7-6, 1-0 Big 8) outscored Sierra (6-9, 0-1) 17-5 over the next 10 minutes for a 68-41 lead thanks to Simmons' final 3-pointer with 6:52 left in the game. It was Delta's largest lead of the game.
"I thought our players bought into the purpose and plan we had against Sierra," Delta coach Rich Ressa said. "(Sierra is) a very good, dangerous team. I thought our effort was to the standard of what we expect here at Delta."
Simmons connected on two early 3-pointers to give the Mustangs a 13-7 lead, then capped an 18-8 run with his third shot from beyond the arc for a 33-17 advantage with 3:48 left in the half.
"We played with a lot of confidence and patience tonight," Simmons said. "We'd been playing hard this season trying to find a good chemistry. I felt like we had that chemistry tonight."
Dwayne Lee, who finished with 11 points, and Jordan Belasco, who had 10, each made two 3-pointers to give Delta seven in the first half.
"We just didn't have any intensity at all," Sierra coach John Fusano said. "Delta dominated in every facet of the game. We didn't guard them very well off the dribble and that led to a lot of their open 3s."
Belasco made both of his 3-pointers in the final three minutes, but it was Green's third offensive rebound and putback basket with 20 seconds left in the half that gave the Mustangs a 43-22 lead at intermission.
Green was a force inside the paint and rebounded his own misses twice for powerful two-handed dunks.
"My focus in the paint was to play hard all the time," Green said. "I try to transfer how I usually play to the game to help my team. Coaches tell me when my intensity is up, our team's intensity is up."
In the women's game, Delta struggled with rebounding in the first half and trailed 21-14 before putting together a 10-0 run capped by freshman Priscilla Moore's layup for a 24-21 lead. Moore made two free throws to give the Mustangs a 26-25 halftime advantage.
Though Delta (12-4, 0-1 Big 8) won the rebounding battle 62-58, it didn't seem that way as Sierra (12-4, 1-0) outrebounded the Mustangs for two or three shots each possession, while Delta typically got only one.
"There were at least 15 loose balls we didn't try for and didn't play hard," Delta coach Gina Johnson said. "Our players need to know they have a target on their backs and they'd better be ready to come out to play every night. We didn't have any emotion and we didn't communicate well. We had way too many defensive breakdowns, especially at the end of the game.
Delta fought back to tie the game 50-50 on Nikki Gleason's basket with 8:23 remaining in the game and fought back from a four-point deficit to tie it 60-60 on Teylor McMiller's spinning jumper in the lane with 2:48 to go.
The Wolverines got 3-pointers from Dakota McLarnan and Joie Camalo to take a 66-63 lead with 45 seconds left.
Delta's Kelci Haueter made 3 from the corner with 31.4 seconds left, but Sierra's Ericka Magana made 3-of-4 free throws in the final seconds to put the game away.
Delta's Nyaa Davis was the only Mustang in double figures with 11 points.
San Joaquin Delta College