COLLEGE BASKETBALL - WWCC men top Green River at Blue Mountain Crossover, 91-88

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PENDLETON - Walla Walla Community College's men's basketball team won a close battle with Green River in the Blue Mountain Crossover Tournament Friday night.

The Warriors topped the Gators, 91-88, on a big night from Jay Payne, who went 6-of-10 from the field, and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, for 20 points.

"It was a really close game the whole way," said WWCC head coach Jeff Reinland.

Green River led 43-42 at the half and scraped together a lead of about 13 midway through the second, Reinland said.

"We got back in it really fast," he said. "We hit a bunch of 3s and got the lead and we were able to hang on."

The Gators threatened. For every 2-pointer WWCC shot, Green River managed to pop in a 3 in the final minutes.

"They hit three long bombs on us in the last minute," Reinland said. "We had pretty good control in the end, but they kept hitting 3s."

Late missed free throws also hurt the Warriors' effort in the win, he said.

Payne's 3s came at key times to push the Warriors ahead, Reinland said. He also shot 4-for-4 from the line, including two with a second left on the clock for the win.

"They never really got a chance to win," Reinland said. "They had a chance to tie it, but with only a second left. They tried to go down in desperation, but Jay (Payne) stole the pass."

Aaron Corsi had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.

"He had a good game inside," Reinland said of Corsi.

Green River's Gralin Paul posted a team-high 18, shooting 100 percent, including 8-of-8 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line.

The Warriors continued Crossover play Saturday.

WWCC 91, Green River 88

GREEN RIVER (88) - Wanquist 2-4 2-2 6, Willis 4-8 1-2 10, Sager 1-3 0-0 2, Banks 7-10 0-2 17, Jones 2-4 0-0 4, Paul 8-8 2-2 18, McClain 1-2 0-0 2, Lanier 2-2 0-0 5, Brescia 0-2 0-0 0, Thomas 4-9 0-2 8, Gates 01 0-0 0, Bates 7-10 0-0 15, Totals 38-63 5-10 88.

WALLA WALLA (91) - Arias 1-4 0-0 0, Payne 6-10 4-4 20, Schultz 1-1 2-4 4, Smith 6-16 0-0 17, Moore 2-2 0-1 6, Corsi 6-9 8-10 20, Steele 4-8 0-0 11, Stannard 4-7 2-4 11, Totals 30-57 16-23 91.

Halftime score - Green River 43, Walla Walla 42. 3-point goals - GRCC 7 (Banks 3), WWCC 15 (Smith 5). Total fouls- GRCC 23, WWCC 11, Fouled out- none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds- GRCC 27 (Willis 6), WWCC 31 (Corsi 10). Turnovers- GRCC 22, WWCC 19. Assists - GRCC 13 (Willis 8), WWCC 18 (Schultz 3).

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