(Walnut, CA) Making his first appearance for the Mt. SAC Men's Basketball Team, Aaron Dutcher poured in a game-high 29 points in the Mounties win over El Camino College in a South Coast Conference crossover game Wednesday night.
The 29 points was the second most by a Mountie this season as Marc Howard, Jr. scored 30 in the second game.
Waiting for his eligibility to be cleared, Dutcher hasn't played since high school and has been practicing with the team.
"Aaron does a good job of making himself a willing receiver around the basket," Mt. SAC coach Clark Maloney said. "And he plays some contact.
"He has no problem with it and it was much needed for us and we've been doing a (heck) of a job executing and getting around the basket but we've just been missing a lot of bunnies (layups)."
Dutchers presence was felt early in the game as he scored five points before midway through the half. By the end of the half he had 13 points.
"I've been waiting for this moment for awhile now, definitely," said Dutcher, who has added a second big presence in the middle along with 6-9 forward Minfeke Sanoe (10 pts., 11 RB).
"It feels awesome to come in and help my team," Dutcher said. "It's one of those things that I know how to take care of my body and practicing the skills that I have.
"We have to go now and prepare for Chaffey and get even better than we were (Wednesday)."
Mt. SAC had six players score in double figures, including 22 from forward Bryce Knox (9 of 17 FGM, 4-7 FTM, 5 RB, 3 Steals). Guards Corey Grant (4-6 FGM, 5-6 FTM, 4 RB) and Josiah Yarde (6-11 FGM, 8 RB, 4 Asst., 3 Steals) each had 13 points. Grant also had a game-high 13 assists, two more than El Camino College.
"We love to have Aaron back," Knox said. "We've had him in practice all along and have a good chemistry. We're happy to have him.
"We have good size in the post and with me stretching the floor out and playing the four (guard). We have good depth with Minfeke and Aaron and foul trouble is not really a problem."
Guard Darrell Williams (2-4 3PM, 2-3 FTM, 7 RB, 8A, Steal) added 12 points.
As a team the Mounties had 50 rebounds, 28 more than the Warriors.
"I thought we did a really good job of gang rebounding," Maloney added. "Normally it's one or two guys that rebound."
After El Camino tied the game at 17-17 with 11:43 left in the first half, the Mounties finished the half on a 32-17 run for the 49-34 lead at the break.
Highlighting the run was two consecutive 3-pointers by D. Williams giving Mt. SAC an eight-point, 30-22 lead with six minutes remaining.
"We're hoping this (win) will be a good stepping stone for us heading into conference," Maloney said.
Mt. SAC will play its first SCC North game on Wednesday at home. Tip off is 7 p.m.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.