The Pirates' men's basketball team's six-game winning streak came to an end Wednesday in an 87-69 loss to Allan Hancock College at the Athletic Event Center. Tone Patton continued his strong play with 24 points and Jelani Bell added 14 points to the effort for the Pirates (15-10, 6-1), who remain a game ahead of the bulldogs and Cuesta in the conference standings.
Hancock jumped on the Pirates 6-1 early before Dayveon Bates hit a three and Timothy Turner made a pair of free throws to tie the score four minutes into play. Hancock then turned around and scored the next eight points in a 14-2 run to take control of the game. When Bell hit a 3-pointer for Ventura at the 13:06 mark, the Pirates trailed 20-11. Bell and Jacob Berry knocked down two more shots from range to keep the Pirates within reach of the Bulldogs. Berry hit a tip-in and Patton scored a trey to help VC close to within 29-25 with 6:59 on the clock. AHC countered with a three and a two, and the Pirates trailed 46-35 at halftime.
Hancock opened the second half on an 11-2 run to earn a 20-point advantage with 16:02 left in the game. Unlike the last match-up between the Pirates and the Bulldogs when VC erased a 16-point deficit for the victory, there would be no comeback for Ventura this night. Patton had a dunk and a triple, and Thomas Dangerfield hit from range, but Hancock seemed to have all the answers on this night. Hancock rode out the momentum to post the 87-69 victory.
With the loss, the Pirates were brought closer to the pack in the Western State Conference race. VC still sits atop the standings at 6-1 while both Hancock and Cuesta are 5-2. Moorpark is in fourth at 4-3.
The Pirates will host Oxnard on Saturday Feb. 16 before traveling to Cuesta the following Tuesday. Tip-off Saturday at the Athletic Event Center is slated for 5:00 pm.