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Dons attain third straight win over Hartnell Panthers

Terry Pon, Staff Reporter

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The De Anza Men’s Dons won their third-straight win against the Hartnell Panthers on Jan. 18.

De Anza’s defense struggled in the first half, giving up 40 points.

Coach Jason Damjanovic said, “You missed that!” after the referee made a questionable no call on one of Damjanovic’s players.

The Dons went into halftime with a three point deficit of 37 to 40.

“We have to play better defense,” said Michael Orlich, 20, point guard, psychology, when the team went into the locker room.

The second half was no different than the first. With 11 minutes and 42 seconds left in the game, the Dons trailed the Panthers 44-54.

“I thought in the second half, we played really bad up until the last four or five minutes,” Orlich said. “Then we just turned it on and wanted to win.”

Five minutes was all the Dons needed to take momentum. The team forced several turnovers during the last five minutes and prevented Hartnell from scoring.

Olrich marched down the court and put up two points to tie the game at 73 to 73 with one minute and three seconds left.

Shooting guard Chris Turner, 20, environmental studies major, jumped from the free throw line and sank the game winning three point shot with 24 seconds left on the clock.

“It felt really good,” Turner said. “I just wanted to help out my team and I know that that is my job and role to knock down the shots.”

The Dons maintained their lead and beat the Panthers 77-76.

The Dons now have a record of six wins and 11 losses overall with a three and one conference record. With three consecutive conference wins, the Dons have the potential to steamroll the entire conference.

“What’s next? Another win! Then another one and another one,” Turner said. “‘Steamroll mentality’ is what we say.”

The De Anza is in second place behind Cabrillo College who is undefeated in the Coast-South conference. The Dons now turn their attention to the two and 13 Gavilan College.

“We have to focus for Gavillan on Friday and if we win that we go to Cabrillo to play for first place.” Olrich said. A win over Gavilan and Cabrillo would put the Dons at a record of 5-1 in their conference.

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