COLLEGE BASKETBALL — Defense lifts Corsairs to victory; Jacks win at Chico

File photo – Kai Purcell

There were mixed fortunes for the local college basketball teams on Saturday afternoon, with both the College of the Redwoods and Cal Poly Humboldt men’s teams winning their games and both women’s teams losing.

The CR men defeated Lassen 64-53 and remain atop the Golden Valley Conference standings.

The win was the fourth straight for the Corsairs, who improved to 6-1 in conference and 22-3 overall.

Jon Nchekwube scored a team-high 17 points in the win, which was achieved with some stellar defense, as the Corsairs gave up a season low in points.

“Defensively we came to play today,” head coach Ryan Bisio said. “Unfortunately it seemed like we were playing defense on both sides of the ball, but Lassen also deserves credit for their defensive effort and tactics. When you’re playing a team for the third time, there aren’t many surprises.”

The win was also achieved with a balanced team performance.

“We had a lot of important contributions today,” Bisio said. “Aidan (Atkins-Salazar’s) defensive performance was one of them. He played a complete floor game this afternoon.

“Myles Gilbert also brought an infusion of positive energy in both halves and I’m really happy for him.”

Kai Purcell also had a good game and finished with 13 points in the win, while Jett Cheong added 11 points and Trey Neff 10.

The Corsairs have a one-game lead over second-placed Butte in the conference standings with three games remaining.

Next week, they travel to play Siskiyous and Butte, before closing out against third-placed Feather River at home in two weeks.

Feather River handed the CR men their only conference loss.

“Next week is the ultimate GVC gauntlet,” Bisio said. “A lot will be settled by this time next week. As difficult as the challenge will be, we still believe we can play our best basketball when it matters most.”

The Cal Poly Humboldt men, meanwhile, avenged an earlier conference loss with a 71-67 win at Chico State.

The Jacks overturned a six-point halftime deficit by outscoring the home team 44-34 in the second half.

The win lifts the Humboldt men to 9-7 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings and 11-11 overall.

The Jacks remain in a tie with Sonoma State for third in the CCAA, but moved one win clear of Chico.

The Cal Poly Humboldt women also played at Chico on Saturday and lost 79-66 to end a three-game winning streak.

With the loss, the Humboldt women dropped to 7-9 in conference and 9-11 overall.

The Redwoods women also played Lassen at home and fell 66-35.

Lilianna Hoban scored a team-high 11 points in the loss.

“We struggled shooting today and never got in rhythm,” CR head coach Jain Tuey said. “Give Lassen credit, they came out aggressive.”

The Redwoods women will try to bounce back when they travel to play Siskiyous on Thursday.

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