Coach Devin Aye and the Copper Mountain College men’s basketball team didn’t disappoint the fans, as they gave another entertaining, hard-fought effort inside the Bell Center on Wednesday night. Copper Mountain hosted Santiago Canyon College and won, 93-86.

It was a heavyweight bout between two first-year programs that have taken the state by storm. Throughout this season, CMC and Santiago Canyon have both been ranked in the top 10 and have won some impressive games. Coach Aye had the Fighting Cacti clicking on all cylinders as he drew up a brilliant game plan to slow down two of the state’s leading scorers. The game was a shootout in the first half and Santiago Canyon went into the locker room ahead 48-45.

In the second half, Copper Mountain took care of the ball and worked it inside on offense, while dominating by rebounding on both ends of the floor. Clutch free throws and consecutive defensive stops secured the win for the Fighting Cacti, 93-86.

Wednesday’s victory marks the 100th career win for CMC’s head coach Devin Aye.

Murshid Randle led the team in scoring with 23 points. Steven Mcnease added 13 points, Tre’Von Bentley and Isiah Blackmon both contributed 12 points.

Copper Mountain improves to 18-7 on the year and 5-3 in Orange Empire Conference. Next up, a road game Friday, February 2, at Irvine Valley College. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
The Fighting Cacti women’s basketball team from Copper Mountain College played host to Saddleback College in an Orange Empire conference game last night at the Bell Center, and lost 86-30.

Coach Hosie Ward said the ladies fought hard, but could not find the bottom of the net as they missed a ton of shots, including several layups. They also missed 13 free-throws. Defensively, the women played well for the most part, with only a few breakdowns. They were very active in their zone, getting multiple deflections and double digit steals. With only seven players in uniform, fatigue finally caught up to them in the second half. The final score was 86–30.

Tusitusia Brown led with 11 points, 20 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Celeste Reyes added 10 points and six steals.

The ladies go to Irvine Valley College on Friday for a conference road game against the top team in the conference.

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