By Barry Faulkner
11:34 PM PST, November 16, 2012
COSTA MESA — It takes a village to run Orange Coast College men's basketball coach Steve Spencer's system, but it was the Pirates ability to be productive from the suburbs that was perhaps the difference Friday night.
OCC connected on six of eight three-point shots in the second half to break open a tight game and claim a 79-61 nonconference win over visiting Los Angeles Harbor.
It was the first win in three games this season for OCC, which used three three-pointers during a 16-0 run that turned a 44-43 deficit into a 59-44 cushion over a span of a just less than four minutes.
With the Seahawks going just more than seven minutes without a field goal, OCC extended the lead to 67-48 with 6:11 left, then cruised home in its only preconference home game.
Sophomore Jo Jo Trinidad made four of five three-point tries after halftime to account for his 12 points, while five other Pirates converted one three-pointer each.
Sophomore Marquis Ransom, was one of the three-point snipers, but he did most of his damage slashing to the basket on his way to a game-high 19 points. Ransom was five for seven from the field and sank eight of 10 foul shots to lead a balanced OCC attack, for which 13 of 18 participants scored.
The substitutions came early and often for the hosts, as is typical under Spencer.
"You play for 30 seconds and you play your [butt] off," Spencer said. "Then, you come out of the game."
OCC's relentless defensive pressure forced 28 turnovers, though the Pirates committed 23.
After surging to a 33-26 advantage in the final minute of the first half, OCC saw the Seahawks end the first half on a 4-0 run, then score the first seven points in the first 46 seconds after the break to take a 37-33 advantage..
"When we backed off ... terrible," Spencer said. "We still have to develop that full-court mentality of defense and rebounding."
But the Pirates rebounded in terms of intensity, often frustrating the Seahawks.
"I thought [freshman reserve guard] Matt Nuthall gave us some good energy and [freshman starter Chris Nelson] gave us some good energy, defensively," Spencer said. "And then Jo Jo hit those four big threes for us. [Trinidad] finally followed through and stepped up as a sophomore and buried them."
Spencer also credited the play of freshman Billy Nguyen, who had four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two points in 16 minutes off the bench.
Nelson, who was four for five from the field and shared team-high rebounding honors with four, finished with 11 points.
Nuthall, who also netted four of five field-goal attempts in 16 minutes, converted his only try from beyond the arc to help the winners.
OCC finished nine of 21 from threedom (42.8%) and shot 53.8% from the field in the second half to finish at 45.8% for the game.
The Pirates were 16 of 23 from the foul line (69.6%), significantly better than the visitors (58.8%, draining 17 of 31).
"I think we can get a lot better, which is the exciting thing for us," Spencer said. "There's a whole bunch of stuff we can clean up. We gave up 61 tonight, which is a lot better than our first two games."
OCC lost, 92-83, to Ventura and 82-74 to Pasadena in the Ventura Tournament last week.
OCC plays in the Citrus tournament beginning Nov. 24.
Tony Bell came off the bench to score 13 to lead the Seahawks.
Orange Coast 79, LA Harbor 61
LAH – Greene 12, Ant. Foster 7, Mason 12, And. Foster 7, Blevins 7, Bell 13, Drain 3.
3-pt. goals – Ant. Foster 1, Greene 1.
Fouled out – Ant. Foster.
OCC – Ransom 19, Joyce 0, C. Nelson 11, Poston 3, Pellum 3, Trinidad 12, Nuthall 10, Grepo 6, Dunlap 4, D. Nelson 3, Dedeaux 2, Nguyen 2, Kirschbaum 2, Walter 2.
3-pt. goals – Trinidad 4, Ransom 1, Pellum 1, Grepo 1, Nuthall 1. D. Nelson 1.
Technicals – C. Nelson 1.
Halftime – OCC, 33-30.