Santiago Canyon (16-0 and #2 Ranked, according to the Massey Rating) started sluggish in their 4th Orange Empire Conference game. The Hawks managed to overcome some sloppy play in the first half to defeat Golden West by the score of 116-82. The Rustlers battled throughout the first half and made some tough shots to keep the score relatively close. SCC closed out the half with a 7-point lead by the score of 52-45. At the half, the Hawks were led in scoring by Paulo Araujo with 12 points, including two 3-point shots. He also pulled down 4 rebounds in the half.
The second half was much better for the Hawks as they found their offensive rhythm to stretch the lead into double digits. SCC's offensive tempo was too much for Golden West as the Hawks scored 64 points in the second half and held the Rustlers to 37 points. SCC's victory was their 16th consecutive win without a loss and their 4th Orange Empire Conference win. Leading the way in scoring was Paulo Araujo and Antoine Jenkins, who each scored 21 points. SCC had 7 players in double figures in the game. Paul Vilela finished with 18 points and Randall Walker had 17 points, including 8 for 8 from the field. A.J. Garrity and David Agba each scored 12 points, while Lucas Holden chipped in with 11. Jenkins led all players with 10 assists on the night. Jenkins and Agba led the Hawks in rebounding with 7 boards apiece. SCC finished the game shooting 57.5% from the field and held Golden West to 43.3%.
The Hawks will be busy next week as they have 3 conference games. On Monday, the heavily anticipated game between two undefeated teams will take place at Fullerton College at 6pm, as the Hawks look to gain the upper hand on the Hornets for the race to the conference championship. On Wednesday, January 15th, SCC will return home for a game vs. Riverside City College at 6pm. They wrap up the week with a road game at Santa Ana College at 7pm on Friday, January 17th.