By William Martin

Staff  writer

LBCC men’s basketball team won two of three games at the Irvine Valley College Classic Tournament on Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 15-17,  advancing its record to 4-2 for the new season.

Viking guard Ashton Edwards dropped 23 points on host Irvine Valley in a 68-63 win to begin the tournament.

Forward Tyler Tuliau was one rebound shy of a double-double, pulling down nine rebounds and he accounted for 17 points on 15 shots.

Forward Mwelu Matayu contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Four players scored in double digits.

Free throws and the battle in the paint proved to be the deciding factors with the Vikings grabbing 40 boards and putting up 13 second-chance points to Irvine’s eight.

LBCC went 19-24 from the line, including 9-10 in the second half.

The second game of the tournament and the second meeting of the season against Imperial Valley was an exciting yet hard to swallow double-overtime 98-94 loss.

The Vikes dominated the first half, scoring 39 points and holding Imperial to only 29.

After some halftime adjustments, the second half was all Imperial Valley as it outscored the Vikings, 46-36.

LBCC was lead by Edwards, Tuliau and Matayu, who combined for 69 of the Vikings’ 94 points and 29 of the team’s 48 rebounds.

Edwards put up big numbers yet again, scoring 29 points, bringing down seven boards and dishing off for five assists.

Tuliau poured in 26 points while shooting 50 percent, making 9-18 including four of seven from beyond the arc and was two rebounds shy of a double-double.

Matayu had his second double-double of the tournament with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Despite the Vikings’ 82 shots, they only shot 38 percent from the floor.

Imperial Valley shot 16 fewer three-pointers, yet made one more than LBCC.

LBCC forced Imperial Valley into 20 turnovers, but the poor field goal percentage and missed free throws accounted for the drawn-out upset.

The extremely high volume of shots attempted, including 33 from three-point land, allowed the Vikes to be out-rebounded and outscored in the paint.

Also, 14 missed free throws and seven costly missed shots in the second overtime period gave the game away.

The Vikings bounced back after the heart-breaker the day before with a big win to close out the tournament with a 69-66 win against Cuyamaca.

Tuliau had his third straight solid performance with 20 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

The Vikes continued their poor field goal percentage trend, shooting only 35 percent, but their free throws came in clutch, making 18-21.

The repeated first-half dominance and the sluggish second half led the Vikes into their third overtime in two games.

The 3-point happy Vikes shot 15 percent from beyond the arc, going only 3-19, making them 15-68 for the tournament from downtown.

A very troubling stat for a team that likes the long-range game.

Vikings play tomorrow Wednesday, Nov. 21. at Santa Ana at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, people may visit the athletics site at http://lbccvikings.com/landing/index.