PHOTOS by Byron Devers
AVC Men's Basketball started their Western State Conference play with an 84-80 victory over College of the Canyons on Wednesday. It was the Freshman point guard Mekhi Smith who led all scorers with 31 points and a game-high 8 rebounds on the night. Smith also finished with 5 assists and a game-high 5 steals.
Despite 22 turnovers and a 1-point deficit at the half, the Marauders kept pace as both teams shot 48% from the field. AVC outrebounded the Cougars 38-30 and outshot them from the 3-point line making 7-21 attempts.
AVC's bench showed up with 29 points led by Da'Jour Lewis, who had 16. Lewis also chipped in 6 rebounds. Habib Arogundade finished with 11 points and 4 assists, while Justin Hill had 6 points. Tyriq Perry and Don McCrary had 5 points each.
The Cougars pulled within three with under a minute left to play, but AVC 's Julian Williams made a free-throw and secured a big offensive rebound to seal the 84-80 win. The Marauders will battle West LA College on Saturday in their second conference match-up. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm at AVC.