TORRANCE, Calif. – Sophomore Jamal Howard continued his good start to the season for El Camino College on Friday night but it was not enough in a 72-61 non-conference loss to San Diego Mesa at the ECC North Gym.
Howard led the Warriors in scoring and tied for the game-high with 17 points, shooting 7-for-13 form the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. Jason Vasquez added 13 points and Rashon Crutcher had 11 but the Olympians got 17 points from Jorge Ramirez and 10 from Nick Tucker to pull away in the second half.
Howard excelled despite early foul trouble limiting him to just five minutes of action in the first half. He scored six points on three shots in the limited time and the Warriors held a slim 32-30 lead at the half.
In the second half, Howard was excellent with 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting as he played 19 of the 20 minutes in the period. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the offense went cold as the rest of the team shot 7-for-23 from the field in the final period, managing just 29 points as ECC was outscored by 13 points in the second half.
The free throw line was a major issue on Friday night for ECC as they went 9-for-23 from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Olympians only shot 67.6 percent from the line but had vastly more opportunities as they went 23-for-34. The Olympians shot nearly as many free throws (21) in the second half as the Warriors had for the entire game.
The Warriors will continue their four-game home stand on Wednesday as they welcome defending CCCAA State Champion Fullerton to the ECC North Gym. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.