Men’s basketball upsets #4 Vanguard
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Westmont’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both had two important Gold State Athletic Conference (GSAC) games this past week. The men, who have an overall record of 15-7, defeated Life Pacific and Vanguard, improving their conference record to 9-5. The women, who have an overall record of 18-7, are now 11-4 in GSAC play after defeating Life Pacific, but losing to Vanguard.
On Thursday, both the men and women travelled to San Dimas, where both teams defeated Life Pacific. For the men, even though Life Pacific was up 43-42 at half time, the Warriors made an intense come back and ended up winning the game 87-70. Senior Olisa Nwachie led the team with 28 points, while senior Max Hudgins had 22, and sophomore Kyle Scalmanini had 13.
Alternatively, the women had a big lead over Life Pacific from the beginning of the game. The Warriors were up 26-9 at half time, and ended up winning the game 76-41. Freshman Iyree Jarrett led the team with 16 points, while both freshman Sydney Brown and sophomore Lauren Tsuneishi had 10 points each.
Building off these two wins, the Warriors hosted the Vanguard University Lions on Saturday night. From the beginning of the men’s game, the crowd knew it was going to be intense. Both sides were playing tough defensively and each point that either team earned required perfect execution of their offense. The game was close and tied for the majority of it, with the score tied 34-34 at half time. Eventually, Westmont gained a lead over the Lions and did all they could to preserve its lead. The Warriors successfully did so and ended up beating the #4 team in the nation with a score of 75-70. Nwachie led the team once again with 19 points, while Hudgins and sophomore Gyse Hulsebosch had ten points. They remain undefeated at home.
“We think we have yet to play our best basketball and that’s what’s been our challenge to one another,” commented Nwachie. “We just want to get better and show the rest of the conference how good we are and how we’re only gonna get better after each game.”
He continued, “Saturday night we had our best defensive showing yet and on a night where we felt as confident in ourselves and the game plan we had, it was a must win. Our guys showed up, and moving forward our mindset is that we control our own destiny.”
Unfortunately, even though the women put up a hard fight, they were ultimately defeated by the Lions. It was close in the beginning, but the Lions were having a great night offensively. The Warriors did not give up and were determined to cut the lead, but time ran out, and they ended up losing 59-46. Freshman Kaitlin Larson led the team with 11 points, while both Jarrett and Stefanie Berberabe had seven.
“Our game against Vanguard was definitely disappointing to lose, but they’re a great team,” said Jarrett. “We made a lot of early mistakes and I think we definitely beat ourselves.”
This upcoming week, the men play The Master’s at home on Saturday, while the women play Bethesda on Tuesday and and The Master’s on Saturday, both at home.