Glendora, CA (Men’s Basketball) -- The Citrus College Men’s Basketball team came out of their week and a half Christmas break and didn’t look like the Fighting Owl squad that won 12 of their first 13 contests in 2010. The Fighting Owls didn’t attack the basket instead settling for jumpers against the LA Harbor zone, and shot just 40.3% from the floor for the game and even more atrocious 47.4% from the charity stripe in their 69-77 loss on Tuesday evening to the Seahawks.
Citrus would come out the gate looking good, making the first basket of the game a Donte Archie three ball off a Lateef McMullan assist. That would be the last good news for the Fighting Owls as over the next five minutes, Harbor would go on a 9-0 run that gave them a 10-3 lead with 15:16 left in the first half.
Harbor would hang onto that lead for the next four minutes until Citrus was able to briefly wrestle it back from after a McMullan trey would give Citrus a 13-12 advantage with 11:54 to go. Over the final 11 minutes the two teams would tie the game up five times, and would trade the lead twice. The Seahawks would take the lead back for good with a minute left as they closed out the half with six unanswered that gave Harbor a 33-27 lead at the break.
In the second half Harbor would extend their six point lead to 10 at the 14:25 mark. Citrus would make small runs here and there, but every time it seemed like the Fighting Owls would get in an offensive rhythm Harbor had an answer.
Citrus’ best chance would come late in the second half when a jumper by Garret Jefferson and one of two free-throws from Donnel Phifer tied the game up at 60 all with just 2:53 left. Again though, Harbor answered with one of two free-throws of their own and then a lay-up after another Citrus miss. The Fighting Owls would hit a few three pointers late, but Harbor hit 10 of their 12 free-throws in the final minute to keep Citrus at bay.
In the loss, Citrus was led by McMullan’s team high 17 points and 8 assists. Fellow soph Jacob Ranger nearly kept Citrus in it defensively with a game high four steals, all in the second half, to go along with nine points, two assists, and three boards.
With loss, Citrus drops to 12-2 on the year, while Harbor improves to 5-7. It is also Citrus’ first loss to an under .500 team since 2009 when the Fighting Owls dropped a conference contest at Santa Monica. The Fighting Owls will try and rebound from Tuesday’s set back tomorrow afternoon when they play host to Oxnard College. Tip-off is set for 3:00 PM.