The MSJC men's basketball team erased their two game losing streak on Wednesday night with a solid home win over visiting College of the Desert 88-72.
The Eagles offense had an impressive night as they finished the game shooting 48% from the field and 47% from beyond the three point line. MSJC built a lead of 40-29 by halftime and held off a Desert run midway through the second half to secure the victory. The second half started with MSJC pushing their lead out to 20 with just under 17 minutes to play when Mekhi Hill connected on a jump shot to make the score 53-33, Jamaal Barnes would extend the lead all the way to 23 with a three pointer with 14:57 to go in the game. The Roadrunners had their best stretch of the second half following that as they out scored the Eagles 19-6 over the next 6 minutes to cut the lead to 10 at 65-55 with 8:31 remaining. MSJC answered one more time to put the game away with an 8-0 run of their own to re-establish the lead at 73-55.
Barnes finished a huge night for the Eagles with 41 points on 17 of 32 shooting, he also grabbed a game high 12 rebounds. Hill ended his evening with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists while Lenzell Simmons came off the bench to add 11 points in the victory. Kamien Cederlind added 8 points and 5 assists and Jernard Jackson finished the game with a team high 6 assists.
The win makes MSJC 8-10 overall on the season and they improved to 4-2 in Inland Empire Athletic Conference play. Desert lost for the first time in IEAC action and now are 12-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
The Eagles will play three times next week as they host Palo Verde at 3 pm on Monday and then travel to San Bernardino Valley on Wednesday and Copper Mountain next Saturday.