Corsair Basketball Defeats El Camino in Season Opener

As the collegiate basketball season tipped-off last week, the Santa Monica College Corsairs outstandingly won their season opener at home with a score of 65-50, outpacing the El Camino College Warriors while they struggled to keep up with the Corsair's tenacious play. 

The first five minutes of the game started evenly as both teams were trading baskets. Leading the team in boards throughout the game was freshman center Bryant Crowder, who posted 11 rebounds. Along with being exceptionally active on both ends of the floor, he played impressively on the defensive and offensive ends- scoring 16 points to lead all scorers in the first half, when the team started to show their dominating play.

As the first half drew to a close, the score was evenly matched before freshman guard Rodney Hudson claimed the title of the game's second leading scorer, with 12 points while earning five rebounds and five assists, to pick up the pace in the second half. Although Hudson's performance was a key factor to the Corsairs' victory, he shot 5 of 12 from the field with a 42-percent field-goal rating.  

The Corsairs' third best player of the night was another freshman guard/forward, Kris Mehdipour, who scored 11 points while shooting 80-percent from the field and grabbing three boards. One of the exciting plays of the night came from Mehdipour, who scored twice in a row and gave his team the much-needed boost in the second half to propel them down the stretch and eventually led them to their first victory of the season. 

Freshman point guard Eric Bell scored eight points while also shooting 4 of 5 from the field on an 80-percent field-goal rating and earned three rebounds.

The men's basketball team delivered its first spectacular game of the season while maintaining a good work ethic and never gave into distraction; both characteristics are a part of second-year head coach Jerome Jenkins' coaching strategy which allowed the players to show enthusiasm during the game and after the win.  

The fairly new SMC basketball coach encouraged his players throughout the game to keep poise and not allow  anxiety to faze them while pressuring the Warriors to a poorly executed game, which was exactly what happened.  The Corsairs didn't let up throughout the entire game as they kept on pounding their opponents until they walked to the locker room with a 15-point victory and enough confidence that should momentously give them an edge against their next opponents.

This season, the men's basketball team has welcomed many new, fresh and talented players who will aim high to strengthen SMC's rankings from previous disappointing seasons as well as achieving a better level of play that will act as the most crucial factor as to whether or not they will make it through the season in the top of the Western State Conference bracket.

The Corsairs next opponent will be the Compton College Tartars on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.

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