Rasp, Branson go 20-plus in Warrior win

Dan Rasp tallied 24 points while making seven of nine from the field and 10 of 12 from the charity stripe to lead Westmont Men’s Basketball to a 95-80 Golden State Athletic Conference win over Hope International. With the win, Westmont improved to 17-6 overall and 9-5 in the GSAC. Hope International fell to 13-11 overall and 4-10 in conference play.

“It feels so good to have Danny back in the lineup and looking like his old self,” said Westmont head coach John Moore.

Preston Branson added another 21 points to the Warriors’ total, making six of seven from the floor. Blake Bender added 12 points and 13 rebounds to record his eleventh double-double of the year. Niko Brooks scored 11 points and pulled down eight boards.

“We felt like we had to get off to a great start,” said Moore. “We got off to a ten point start early before they cut it to six at halftime.”

The Warriors never relinquished the lead in the second half, building their advantage to as much as 20 points.

As a team, the Warriors shot 58.3 percent from the floor (28 of 48) including 63.0 percent in the second half (17 of 27). From the free throw line, Westmont shot 85.4 percent (35 of 41).

The Warriors’ win, combined with an 82-70 loss by Point Loma Nazarene to #7 Azusa Pacific, leaves Westmont alone in fourth place. The Warriors are one game behind Biola (10-4).

The Warriors return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Costa Mesa to take on Vanguard (5-17, 3-11 GSAC).