The NIC men’s basketball team led from start to finish and beat Yakima Valley College 100-81 on Saturday Night at Christianson Gymnasium. The Cardinals played fast right away, scoring 17 points in the first four minutes. That offensive efficiency held off any hope for the Yaks to recover.
The Cards’ starting five combined for 90 points, led by RayQuan Evans’ 30 points. Twenty three of those came in the second half, which he dominated. Jalen Burkett couldn’t miss from mid-range and dropped 20 points. The other starters, Tyler Brimhall, Jarod Greene, and Charles Williams scored 18, 14, and eight points, respectively. The team shot over 57% from the field.
The offensive onslaught was a product of the energy that the team brought from start to finish, and their aggressiveness on the boards. The Cards out-rebounded Yakima 42-28, leading to numerous second and third chance possessions. The Yaks had few answers for the Cardinal offense all night.
Evans led the team in rebounds as well, with his 12 boards getting him second-chance layups at the rim throughout the second half. His effort and determination was evident all night, and it got the approval of his Head Coach.
“RayQuan was outstanding tonight,” said coach Corey Symons. “He got everyone going in the first half and took over in the second.”
The win was the fourth in a row for NIC, and their seventh in eight games. Their dominant stretch has tied them with Walla Walla for the division lead. They’ll carry momentum into their next contest, a road matchup with Columbia Basin College in Pasco, WA on Wednesday night. They will return home next Saturday, Feb.10 to host Treasure Valley Community College at 4p.m.