first_imgSAN BERNARDINO – It took more than 20 minutes. But the San Bernardino Valley College men’s basketball team finally found its game and cruised past visiting Rio Hondo in the Foothill Conference opener for both schools Wednesday afternoon. The Wolverines (13-7, 1-0 in conference) were only ahead, 29-26, after a poor first half by both. Their biggest lead in the opening 20 minutes was five points at 12-7, then again at 14-9. “I felt like I got more in a groove the second half because my shots just weren’t falling in the first half,” Smith added. “Sooner or later they were going to start going in.” SBVC coach Phil Mathews, known for his fiery demeanor, said he kept things simple at the intermission. “I just told them we had to play a lot better,” he said. “We didn’t come out and play San Bernardino basketball. We just didn’t play like we were ready for the first 25 minutes.” The Wolverines continue con ference play at 7 p.m. on Satur day, playing host to College of the Desert, a team they shared the conference title with a year ago. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They had nine turnovers in the first half, most of them unforced. Rio Hondo failed to capitalize because it had 11 turnovers. Players admitted they took the Roadrunners (5-13, 0-1) a little too lightly. center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “We went out there like we didn’t have to play hard to win,” sophomore forward Jamar Smith said. “We had a couple of days off and that probably didn’t help either. It just took us a half to get back into it.” The Wolverines had four players combine to score 69 of their 75 points. Smith and Chris Adams tallied 22 points each while Jerome Habel and Dwayne Pettus chipped in with 11 apiece. Habel, Pettus and Adams snagged seven rebounds each with the 6-foot-10 Habel adding five blocked shots. SBVC, ranked eighth in the South and 15th in the state, used a run early in the second half to put some distance between itself and the opponent. Rio was still in striking distance at 34-30 four minutes into the second half but the Wolverines then went on a 21-4 run over the next 4:06 with Smith scoring eight and Adams six in that stretch. A three-pointer from the corner by Pettus made it 39-32. Seconds later Smith scored on a slam dunk, aided by a pass from Habel. Smith tacked on a free throw giving SBVC its first double-digit lead at 42-32 and the Roadrunners never threatened again. Rio turnovers helped the Wolverines surge out to a 20-point advantage with the latter part of the run highlighted by fast-break buckets by Smith and Pettus that came off turnovers. last_img

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