Men's Basketball: Rio Hondo can't hold halftime lead, falls to East LA

Men's Basketball: Rio Hondo can't hold halftime lead, falls to East LA

Freshman Jr. Hernandez exploded for a season-high 26 points, but his big night wasn't enough as Rio Hondo College couldn't hold a halftime lead and ultimately lost by a final score of 80-66 to No. 8 state-ranked East Los Angeles College on Friday night in Whittier.

The South Coast Conference North Division loss dropped the Roadrunners to 8-12 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

Other than an early 4-3 deficit, Rio Hondo led for pretty much the entire first half. Holding a slim 20-16 advantage at the 9:11 mark, the Roadrunners put together a 17-2 run over the next seven minutes to go up 37-18. Hernandez led the charge by scoring 10 of his 26 points during the run.

But the second half wasn't as kind for the Roadrunners. With Rio Hondo up 45-31 at the 18:51 mark, East Los Angeles went on to score 21 of the next 28 points to tie up the game at 52-52 with 10 minutes to play. Later, a 13-2 run by East Los Angeles would put the game out of reach, turning a narrow 60-58 lead into a commanding 73-60 advantage.

Hernandez grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go along with her season-high scoring. Damian Salcedo was the only other Roadrunner to score in double figures as he came off the bench to contribute 10 points.

Rio Hondo has now lost four straight and eight of its last nine games. The Roadrunners will look to snap that streak when they travel to Mt. San Antonio College on Wednesday (Jan. 25) for a 5 p.m. SCC North game.