Yotes hold off the Corban Warriors, 76-71

CALDWELL, Idaho - All five starters combined to score 67-of-71 points, as Corban's men's basketball team nearly upset the NAIA's No. 21-ranked College of Idaho before falling, 76-71, Friday inside the J.A. Albertson Activities Center.

Corban (6-11, 2-6 CCC) was led by freshman Toby Roth with a game and career-high 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, while three other Warriors - junior Jordan Carter, freshman Caleb Herzberg, and sophomore Cyrus Ward - added 17, 15, and 12 points, respectively. Ward led Corban with a game-high nine rebounds, while Carter handed out a team-high five assists to go along with a pair of steals by senior Josiah Sebens.

The College of Idaho (15-5, 6-2 CCC) was led offensively by Jordan O'Byrne with 15 points, while Taylor Pruett and Ben Van Lith added 12 points each to go along with a 10-point effort by Sydney Donaldson. Van Lith and Josh Wilson led the Coyotes with seven rebounds each, while Pruett handed out a game-high six assists for C of I.

Over the opening two minutes, each team traded the lead until Corban built a four-point cushion (8-4) on a jumper by Roth with 17:23 on the clock. A 4-0 run by C of I would tie the game for the first time at 8-8 before the visiting Warriors used a 13-7 run over a span of three minutes that resulted in a 21-15 lead on a jumper in the paint by Ward with 12:08 left. Ten unanswered points by The College of Idaho would put the home team ahead by four points (25-21) before Corban scored four straight points to tie the game for the second time at 25-all on a jumper by Carter with 6:11 remaining. After trading baskets that resulted in a 27-27 deadlock, The College of Idaho scored six straight points to pull ahead 33-27 before Corban used an 8-4 run to get within two points (37-35) on a jumper in the paint by Herzberg with 2:24 left. Over the final two-plus minutes, The College of Idaho scored the final eight points resulting in a 43-35 lead for the Coyotes at halftime.

The second half would begin with C of I pushing its lead to double digits for the first time all night at 46-35 before Corban used a 10-3 run over a span of two minutes to get within four points (49-45) on a three-pointer by Herzberg with 17:13 left. The College of Idaho would increase its lead to 12 points (58-46) on a lay-in by Van Lith with 14:54 on the clock before Corban used a 20-7 run over a span of eight-plus minutes to grab a one-point lead (66-65) on a jumper by Herzberg at the 5:19 mark. After Corban grabbed a slim three-point lead (70-67), C of I's Pruett tied the game at 70-70 on a three-pointer with just under three minutes left before Donaldson hit back-to-back two-pointers that pushed the Coyotes' lead to four points (74-70) with 1:21 left. Corban would pulled within three points (74-71) after a free throw by Carter with 65 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately that would be as close as the visiting Warriors would get, as both teams stepped up the defensive pressure over the next 53 seconds holding their opponent without a made field goal. After a missed jumper by Carter with 13 seconds left, C of I took advantage of a pair of made free throws by Demetruis Perkins with 12 seconds left that sealed the win (76-71) for the home team.

As a team, Corban combined to shoot 28-for-51 (54.9%) from the field that included a 6-of-15 (40.0%) performance from beyond the three-point line and a 9-of-17 (52.9%) showing at the free throw line. On the other hand, The College of Idaho was a combined 30-of-62 (48.4%) from the field, 11-of-27 (40.7%) from long distance, and 5-of-7 (71.4%) at the charity stripe.

Corban returns to the hardwood tomorrow - Saturday, January 18th - against the Mountaineers of Eastern Oregon beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. inside the Quinn Coliseum in La Grande.