SONORA -- The Merced College men's basketball team kept Columbia's shooters under wraps and turned one of its own loose.
Sophomore Steve Diaz had 14 points, including two second-half 3-pointers in a 67-47 victory at Columbia on Wednesday evening.
Merced College (8-14) improved to 5-4 in Central Valley Conference play with a balanced attack and stingy perimeter defense.
John Lowe had 13 points, JerMichael Williams 11 and Tamar Moultrie 10 for the Blue Devils, who broke open a four-point game at the half with a 41-25 run.
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Columbia had four 3-pointers, but rarely had an open look at the goal. Each time a Claim Jumper shooter received the ball, a Blue Devil or two was there with a hand in his face.
Golden Valley alum John Sykes led Columbia with 14 points. No one else had more than nine.
"I thought it was important for us to keep track of their shooters," MC coach Bill Russell said. "They shoot the ball extremely well. We had to get out on their shooters and not let them get warmed up."
Merced College won despite 24 turnovers and moved into sole possession of third place.
"We're pleased that our players understand how to win games now. We still have some work to do," Russell said.
"Any win in this conference is a plus for us. Our conference is tough. Columbia is a difficult place to play."
TURLOCK 53, LOS BANOS 43
LOS BANOS -- Anthony Hubbard scored 18 points for Turlock, which found itself in a dogfight with Los Banos. Tyler Simmons and Ryley Zimmer had eight points apiece for LB, now 1-9 in the CCC.
DOS PALOS 67, AVENAL 39
DOS PALOS -- Ryan Yriarte had 22 points and Dos Palos (3-3 WSL, 6-13) opened the game with a 33-4 run, cruising to victory in this West Sierra League game.