The Lancers’ men’s basketball team won their first home game of the season with a 69-61 victory over El Camino College on Wednesday.
It was a tale of two halves as the Lancers used an impressive first half pressure defense to cause El Camino to turn the ball over repeatedly.
“We’ve been working on our pressure defense a lot, rotating and trapping the ball and that sped the game up and helped us get some key turnovers,” freshman forward Donell Tuff said.
With five minutes remaining in the first half the Lancers went on an impressive 13-4 run that was highlighted by an imposing trap defense.
“We’ve been working on our defense since the beginning of the season and everyone is buying in mentally and physically and everyone is giving their all,” freshman guard Keith Langston said.
Freshman guard Dejon Williams led the Lancers’ attack on both sides of the ball, but it was his defense and passing that helped the Lancers sustain a second-half El Camino comeback.
“He provides us with leadership,” Tuff said of Williams. “He’s a great all around player, he’s very athletic, he can dribble, his presence, he’s a great leader.”
Williams led four Lancers who finished in double figures with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Sophomore guard Jonathan Henderson added 11 points and three rebounds despite shooting 3-for-9 from the field.
“We executed better,” head coach Michael Swanegan said. “We’ve been working on our defense but we just executed better in the first half. We played a little harder tonight and pulled through with a victory.”
Once again the Lancers’ bench came through to help seal the victory despite foul trouble to starting forwards Jaryn Taylor and Faruk Oyalade. Tuff came through strong in the second half with 13 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks off the bench and Langston added 12 points, three rebounds and two steals in his third game back from a concussion.
“Tonight’s win was a team effort,” Tuff said. “We just have to take our time with the pressure defense and that will help us limit turnovers.”
“We came together as a group in the second half and held the lead,” Langston added. “We can’t get big headed, we’re taking it one game at a time and playing for our sophomores.”
The Lancers will travel to play South Coast South Division rivals Cerritos College on Friday at 5 p.m.