San Diego overcomes slow start to upend Yuba in quarterfinal

San Diego City vs. Yuba
CCCAA Men's Basketball Quarterfinals
(Photo by David Sanborn)
San Diego City vs. Yuba CCCAA Men's Basketball Quarterfinals (Photo by David Sanborn)

Tournament Central

LIVERMORE, Calif. - Yuba College roared out to an 11-0 lead in the CCCAA Men’s Basketball Championships quarterfinal nightcap on the strength of Brandon Ruaro but San Diego City College whittled away at the early deficit before taking the lead for good just before halftime during its 85-69 win over the 49ers on Thursday night at Las Positas College.

San Diego City (29-5) advances to face defending state champions City College of San Francisco (29-2) in the semifinals on Saturday at 3 p.m. Yuba (28-3) had its 19-game winning streak snapped.

Ruaro was perfect 3 for 3 from the field, including making a three-pointer, as Yuba tallied the game’s first 11 points.  At the 13:25 mark of the half, Yuba led 17-4 and that’s when San Diego began its comeback before eventually taking a 37-32 halftime lead. 

Darien McClain led all scorers with 12 points at the break, including 4-for-5 from three-point land. Robert McCoy played a solid first half for the Knights with seven points and six rebounds. Xavier Francois came off the bench to grab eight boards for Yuba while also pitching in with seven points for the 49ers. Ruaro had 11 points in the first half for Yuba. 11. 

San Diego started the second half off with a 17-5 run and was never challenged again. The Knights had 12 offensive rebounds as they used their bigger size to out-muscle the 49ers in the second half. Yuba helped out with their 22 turnovers which led to 30 points for San Diego. Another advantage of the Knights’ bigger size was their advantage in the paint where they held a 42-26 margin. 

For the Knights, Alex Wilbourn scored 14 points after being held to just two in the first half. ] McClain was the Knights’ leading scorer with 23, McCoy chipped in with 12 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, and Marcus Brumsey added 10 points. 

For the 49ers, Ruaro tallied 17 points with Jordan Johnson adding 14 and Donald Jackson adding 10. Maybe the bigger story for San Diego was the job they did on the 49ers leading scorer Jihad Woods. The Knights clamped Woods off in the game with good defense and held him to just one point in 37 minutes of action.

(By Rick Stewart, Consumnes River Sports Information)