The last we heard of the UCR Men’s Basketball team (6-10) was just before finals week, when they defeated the Pepperdine Waves at home. Since then, they went (3-3) during the winter break, including an upset win over the Loyola Marymount Lions, who entered the Dec. 22 contest with a red-hot (11-1) record.
Another bright spot for the Highlanders was the play of Junior guard Dikymbe Martin, who was the leading scorer for three of their six games.
As the winter break winded down, the Highlanders looked to finish off their slate of non-conference games with a strong game against the Bethesda Flames, who entered the game at (1-11) and a seven game losing streak.
They did just that, setting new program records in several categories, including 31 assists, 112 points and 45 made field goals, as well as committing a record-low three turnovers in a monster 112-47 victory.
The Highlanders were led by Freshman forward Zac Watson, who scored 22 points on the night. Sophomore forward Ajani Kennedy and senior center Menno Dijkstra each posted a double-double of 18 and 16 points, and 11 and 13 rebounds, respectively.
The Flames were led by senior guard Mehran Nazarian, who finished with 22 points. Junior guard Jeremiah Tardy led Bethesda with five assists.
The Highlanders improved to (5-1) at home, and reached their sixth victory of the season. Last season, they reached their sixth win in February.
Up next for the Highlanders, they open Big West Conference play at home against the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Wednesday, Jan. 9.