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Yuba College men survive at Mendocino
Moikobu lifts 49ers in second half
The Yuba College men's basketball team needed every ounce of resiliency up in Ukiah on Tuesday night.
Down by 17 points at halftime, the 49ers rallied for a thrilling 72-66 win over Mendocino College to stay undefeated in the Bay Valley Conference.
With 5 seconds remaining and his team up 68-66, Yuba sophomore Achoki Moikobu was clutch with two free throws to seal the victory for Yuba (11-6 overall).
Yuba College coach Doug Cornelius said Moikobu's performance in the second half turned the game around. In a span of 5 minutes, Moikobu scored 10 of his team-high 18 points and grabbed four steals.
"It was a hell of a comeback," Cornelius said. "We honestly didn't know if we could do it, but these guys found a way to win."
Yuba overcame a dreadful first half in which they made just 8 of 31 shots from the field and 1 of 10 from the 3-point line.
Cornelius said the game changed in the second half when his team started implementing a full-court press, which forced some key turnovers as the Niners were able to put up points in transition.
Akachi Okugo had 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while Jaysen Williams added 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Chris Smith chipped in with nine points for the 49ers, who jumped up to No. 16 in the latest state rankings released on Monday and No. 8 in Northern California.
The Niners host Los Medanos on Thursday and NorCal No. 12 team College of Marin on Saturday.