For some reason, the Sports Pavilion at Santa Barbara City College is a difficult place for the Ventura College basketball team to play. Saturday was no different as VC needed a second half surge to pull away from the host Vaqueros 92-75. Tone Patton had 24 points and eight rebounds while Keron Bailey totaled 19 points and 10 boards to lead the Pirates (15-9, 6-0) to the win. Timothy Turner added 14 points, five rebounds and four assists and Jelani Bell added 12 points and seven caroms.
Ventura remains in first place in the Western State Conference North Division, two games ahead of both Hancock and Cuesta with four games remaining on the schedule.
The game was close in the first half with seven ties and six lead changes. Santa Barbara hit a 3-pointer to go ahead 38-31 before the Pirates scored five straight to close the gap to 38-36 at the break.
VC opened the final half with a 13-3 run to open up an eight point advantage, 49-41. After a SBCC three, the Pirates broke the game open with a 20-7 run to stretch the lead to 16 points. Ventura outscored Santa Barbara 56-37 in the second half to post the 92-75 win.
The Pirates will return home on Wednesday Feb. 13 to host Allan Hancock College at the Athletic Event Center. Tip-off against the Bulldogs is 5:00 pm and the game will be followed by the VC women at 7:00 pm.