STOCKTON – Mustangs sophomore Spencer Monteiro poured in a game-high 23 points and teammate Jalen Valverde scored 14 of his 15 points in the second half to help the Delta College men pull away for an 84-71 Big 8 Conference victory over the Diablo Valley Vikings on Tuesday.
The No. 10-ranked Mustangs women fell behind top-ranked Diablo Valley early with 20 first half turnovers as the Vikings pressured their way to a 85-68 victory.
The Delta men (14-6, 6-1 Big 8) was a cool 6-of-19 from beyond the arc in the first half after missing its first five attempts while the Vikings (5-10, 1-5) went 4-of-4 from downtown to keep it close.
Delta freshman guard Jimmy Beltz connected on three-straight 3-pointers and polished off a personal 11-0 run with a fast break bucket for a 26-16 Mustangs lead with seven minutes left in the half.
The Mustangs stalled with four missed three pointers and a pair of turnovers as the Vikings clawed back within 30-29 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Diablo Valley freshman Jeff Williams.
But Delta closed out the first half with an 11-4 spurt in the final three minutes, including a monster follow up jam by sophomore Spencer Monteiro off a missed 3-point try for a 41-31 lead.
"We just really had to focus when they wasted that much time on the clock and play the best (defense) we could," said Monteiro, a Lodi product. "I was just trying to be aggressive and finish. (My teammates) did a great job moving the ball and getting it to me when I was open."
Delta got 14 points from Beltz and eight each from Travis August and Ja-Kobi Ford, Jr.
Diablo Valley's Darius Jackson led the Vikings with 20 points, while teammates Anthony Haskett and Mitchell Smith each scored 14 in the loss.