The 2015-16 Cyclone men's basketball team began conference play this past week with two games.
SCTCC Moves To 1-0 In MCAC Play
On Wednesday evening, the Cyclones hosted Riverland Community College at the Whitney Recreation Center. This marked the first MCAC game for both teams. The first half saw the Cyclones defense wreak havoc on the visiting Blue Devils, forcing 11 turnovers and holding RCC to just 22% from the field. On the offensive side of the ball, the Cyclones were able to build a 25 point advantage thanks to a balanced scoring attack led by sophomore Charles Young (Apple Valley, MN) with 11 points. In all, 10 Cyclones were able to reach the scoring column in the first half with the team shooting 51%FG from the floor.
The second half provided more of a challenge, as the Blue Devils battled back outscoring the home team 45-40 in the final 20 minutes. However, the score was a little out of reach, and SCTCC was able to finish off with the win 83-71. Four Cyclones reached double figures as Charles Young finished with a game high 17 points and 7 rebounds. Sophomore Kalu Abosi (St. Paul, MN) chipped in his 2nd double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Zac Tomsche (Albany, MN) and Darian Marshall (Minneapolis, MN) also reached double figures with 12 points a piece.
Cyclones Victorious On The Road
On Saturday afternoon, the Cyclones travelled to Anoka-Ramsey Community College to take on the Golden Rams. Coming into the game, ARCC had been on a hot streak winning 8 of their previous 9 games. Both teams were looking to move to 2-0 in conference play.
Once again, defense played a huge role in gettting the Cyclones off to a good start. The first half saw a lot of back and forth scoring, however SCTCC limited the opponent to just 1-8 from beyond the arc and 40% from the field. Freshman Nick Raeker (Avon, MN) led the Cyclones in scoring in the 1st half, hitting 4-for-6 from downtown for 12 points.
In the second half, the defense continued to key runs for the Cyclones. The Golden Rams shot just 26% from the field in the second half as the Cyclones pulled away for a 19 point lead with just under 9 minutes remaining. However the home team did not relent as they picked up the pressure. The large lead dwindled down to just 3 points in the waining moments. Anoka had the ball with just over 3 seconds remaining on the clock, looking to tie the game up on a sidleine out-of-bounds play. The Cyclones defense once again stepped up and caused a late turnover before the Golden Rams could get a shot off. The final score ended up 78-75.
SCTCC was lead in scoring by freshman Darian Marshall (21pts/9rebs), Nick Raeker (14pts) and Cornell Pillow (14pts).