COSTA MESA -- The friendly confines of the Peterson Gym were not so friendly for the Orange Coast College men's basketball team as the Pirates fell behind early and lost to visiting Cypress, 82-73, on Wednesday night in an Orange Empire Conference matchup.
It was a final score that showed a closer game than it actually was as a late 8-0 run by the Pirates (7-11, 0-3 in OEC) helped chip into a deficit that reached as many as 24 with seven minutes left in the game.
While the Pirates struggled from the floor (20-of-52 overall and 8-of-22 from 3-point land), the Chargers (9-8, 1-1) drove to the basket early and often and hit 62.2 percent of their shots (28-of-45).
Nate Harding was OCC's lone hot shooter, scoring a team-best 26 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor, 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. The rest of the team shot a combined 12-of-42 from the floor for 28.5%.
In a game that "featured" 56 fouls and 67 free-throw attempts combined, David Murell led the Chargers with 23 points. O'Shae Williams added 17 points and six assists, while Jordan Rohan added 12 points and Brennon Palmer tossed in 11.
After a Harding trey got the Pirates on the scoreboard first, it was all Cypress the rest of the way as a 13-0 run by the Chargers gave the guests control of the lead for the rest of the game.
Coast will play at Santa Ana College on Friday night (7 p.m.) before returning to the Peterson Gym on Wednesday to host Irvine Valley College, also at 7 p.m.