The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.

Down by 18 points in the second half, and without its season leading scorer, the College of San Mateo men’s basketball team staged a tremendous comeback to knock off No. 22-ranked Ohlone College, 71-66, Wednesday night at College Heights gymnasium. Both teams are now 2-2 in Coast North play.

That sets up Friday’s important 7 p.m. county battle pitting CSM (9-11 overall) at Skyline (2-3 Coast North, 15-6 overall) in San Bruno. Skyline lost, 63-47, Wednesday at defending champion City College of San Francisco.

On Wednesday, the Bulldogs trailed 50-32 with 17 minutes left. But a 10-0 run, led by Jermaine Patton and Jabril Foster, got them back into contention against the international squad from Fremont-based Ohlone. The Renegades’ lineup features four players from Australian club teams and a 6-10 center from Bosnia.

A pair of 3-point baskets by Jason Montgomery and another by Andrew Taylor Bryant-Frey helped narrow the margin to four points at 55-51 with just over 10 minutes to play. Following two Ohlone free throws, Pawllos Habtom scored seven points to begin a 14-point San Mateo run. That included the go-ahead 3-pointer with 7:45 left for a 58-57 lead. Bryant-Frey had a pair of baskets to spur CSM to an eight-point lead, 65-57, with 4:50 remaining. The Bulldogs still needed clutch final-minute free throw shooting by Habtom to lock up the victory.

CSM held the Renegades without a field goal for nine minutes, until just 2:30 remained. That was their only made goal over the final 11:30 of play.

San Mateo’s scoring leader, sophomore Kiahn Nice, who averages 14.2 points per game, did not play for “personal reasons,” Marcial said.

Ohlone (12-8 overall) had two players make four 3-pointers apiece in the first half, leading to a 42-26 margin. No Renegade hit a 3 after the break. Ohlone had 16 field goals in the first half and just seven in the second.

Ohlone’s Jason Cibull was the game’s high scorer, with 20 points — but 14, including the four 3s, came in the first half.

CSM got 18 points from Union City’s Habtom, which is in Ohlone’s recruiting area. Montgomery finished with 14 for the Bulldogs.

CSM women set for a conference showdown at Skyline

College of San Mateo, Skyline College, and City College of San Francisco are virtually tied for the Coast Conference North women’s basketball lead, each with one loss.

CSM ran past visiting Ohlone College, 91-30, Wednesday, while host CCSF defeated Skyline, 69-62. That sets up Friday’s 5 p.m. showdown between San Mateo (2-1) and Skyline (3-1). San Francisco is 3-1, after narrow wins over both CSM and Skyline.

Against Ohlone, all nine San Mateo players scored. Ariel Petalver tallied 17 points and Joslyn Moore had 14 to go along with eight rebounds.

Skyline led CCSF, 29-28 at halftime and trailed by a point, 46-45, after three quarters, but the host Rams controlled the final period. Maley Langi led Skyline with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Jenika Zurita added 14 points.