Behind a 22-point, 4-assist, 4-steal performance by freshman guard Timothy Turner, the Pirates' men's basketball team defeated Irvine Valley College 63-59 Saturday afternoon to claim third place at the Irvine Valley Classic. Jelani Bell came off the bench to score 15 points and Thomas Dangerfield added an even dozen as VC evened their season mark at 3-3.
The game remained within a possession for most of the first half as the two teams battled it out on the third day of the tournament. Turner scored at the rim to put VC ahead 18-17 with 7:57 left in the first period before the Lasers countered with an 8-2 run over the next four minutes of play to take a 26-20 advantage. IVC made it 33-26 with 1:01 remaining with a 3-point shot before Bell countered with his own triple to make it 33-29 at halftime.
Irvine maintained a 5-point edge for the first four minutes of the second half before the Pirates got back into the game. Trailing 38-33 at the 16:19 mark, VC scored on a layup by Tone Patton to begin a 14-4 run. Turner followed with two free throws and a layup, and Dangerfield scored in close for a 41-38 Pirate lead. After a Laser score, Turner got inside once again, then answered two IVC free shots with two more charity tosses, and Patton scored in the paint to make it 47-42 with 10:31 remaining.
VC maintained the advantage until Irvine came back to take a 57-55 edge with 4:01 on the clock. Jacob Berry responded with a big 3-pointer. Keron Bailey hit one of two free throws to give VC a 59-57 lead. IVC then tied the game with 2:01 remaining before Turner hit a pair of clutch free shots and Bell made a bucket to set the final score at 63-59.
Patton, Berry, Bell and Dayveon Bates all pulled in four rebounds to lead the balanced Pirate glass attack, and Patton and Berry added six and five points, respectively.
Ventura will next travel to Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday Nov. 24 for a 3:00 pm contest.