Solid defensive play led NAIA seventh-ranked Westmont to a 64-47 men’s basketball win over Vanguard (12-6, 1-2 GSAC) on Tuesday night as the Warriors improved to 15-3 overall and 3-0 in Golden State Athletic Conference play.
The Warriors held the home team to just 28.0 percent shooting, limiting the Lions to 32 points less than their season average.
“We had trouble scoring early but we kept them from scoring,” noted Moore who was exuberant over his team’s defensive effort. “We forced them to take bad shots and we out-rebounded them. We had more defensive rebounds (32) than they had total rebounds (29).”
Westmont added 12 offensive boards to tally 44 rebounds on the night.
“It was a team defensive effort,” noted Moore. “Their three top-scorers average 49 combined points. We held them to 29 points, so 20 points under their average.
“Our bench as a whole played very well,” noted the coach. “They gave us the lead at halftime and played great in the second half. Jason Ritchey, Jared Wilson, Mantas Drungys, Brendan Hill and Daniel Carlin were very good tonight.”
The Warriors got 22 points from the bench and did not allow a Vanguard reserve to score. Ritchey led the team in scoring with a career high 17 points.
“They say that (former North Carolina head coach) Dean Smith was the only one that could hold Michael Jordan to 12 points,” said Moore. “Well, I’ve been holding Jason Ritchey to under double-digits by not playing him enough.”
In other Golden State Athletic Conference action, Hope International (18-1, 3-0) remained tied with the Warriors atop the GSAC standings by defeating Arizona Christian (12-3, 2-1) by a 71-51 margin.
“Hope International is a great defensive team,” said Moore of the Warriors’ next opponent. “They are second in the NAIA in fewest points allowed. So, Saturday night will be a great defensive effort. Hopefully, we will be able to score some points together.”
The Royals and Warriors will square off in a battle for first place at 7:30 p.m. in Murchison Gymnasium.