MBK: Moore wins 400th game at Westmont

Westmont downed NAIA opponent Southern Oregon 80-64 to record their first win of the 2013-‘14 season and give Westmont head coach John Moore his 400th victory in his 21st season at the helm of the Warriors.

Moore now sits at 479 victories in his college coaching career.

“It just means that I’ve been here a long time,” joked Moore. “I’ve had a lot really good players, that’s what it actually means. This was a special game, especially it being on (assistant coach) Jeff Azain’s 50th birthday. The guys and I wanted to play this one for him. We all really love him,” continued Moore.

Due in part to ferocious defense, precise screening on offense, and smart shot selection, the Warriors opened the game on a tear, quickly mounting a 17-4 lead.

Senior forward C.J. Miller (24 points on 11 of 14 attempts, 6 rebounds) struck early and often, scoring 10 points from a wide array of floor spots in the first frame. Adding to Westmont’s early success was Southern Oregon’s foul count, a statistic that reached seven with 7:47 remaining in the first half.

Unlike in their season opener at La Sierra, in which the Warriors shot a lackluster 17 for 31 (.548) from the line, the Warriors took advantage of their first half opportunities from the charity stripe. Senior forward Jason Ritchey (14 points, 8 rebounds) was especially efficient, converting on all four of his first half attempts.

Supplementing the fast starts of Miller and Ritchey was junior center Daniel Carlin (16 points on 8 of 11 attempts, 9 rebounds), who played the entirety of the first half. The 6-9 Aussie also scored at a torrid rate throughout the initial half of basketball, contributing 12 points and seven rebounds, helping build the Warriors’ lead to 18 with three minutes remaining.

Well-timed three pointers from senior guard Brendan Hill (10 points, 7 assists) and junior guard Kyle Gordon (8 points) abetted Westmont’s lead, thus preventing Raider runs and fortified a 46-29 score at the half.

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