MBK: Westmont slowed by Wooster in tourney

PHOENIX, Ariz. — In the opening game of the Arizona Christian Classic in Phoenix Monday evening, Westmont Men’s Basketball (8-3) fell to the Fighting Scots of NCAA Division III second-ranked College of Wooster (Ohio) by a score of 53-47.

The Warriors held on to a 29-22 lead at the half, thanks in part to guard Nate Marsing (14 points, 4 rebounds) who played substantial minutes in the wake of Billy Keller’s injury Saturday against Simpson.

“Nate played exceptionally well,” exclaimed Westmont head coach John Moore. “He produced the best game of anyone on our roster tonight and made big play after big play. We needed someone to step up in Billy’s absence and Nate filled the role.”

Along with Marsing’s 10 first half points, Westmont forced Wooster (8-0) to shoot just 31.8 percent (7-for-22) from the field, while converting on 43.5 percent of their own attempts. However, the second half would spawn a different story as the Warriors would falter from the free-throw line and drop their field goal percentage to a paltry 29.4 percent.

“Wooster was a good as advertised but we played really tough basketball tonight,” said Moore. “Our team performed well for the majority of the night. There was just a five minute stretch in the second half where we got stuck at 39 (points) and blew a seven point lead as (Wooster) went on a run.

“Then we missed a lot of free throws (12-for-26), and Wooster didn’t (14-for-17). Even though we shot ten more free throws than they did, as well as outrebounded them by 11 (39-28), our 10 additional turnovers (21-11) and poor shooting from the charity stripe limited our offensive efficiency, which cost us the game.”

The Warriors face NAIA foe Spring Arbor (Mich.) (5-8) on Tuesday. The Cougars also dropped a contest today to host Arizona Christian (8-0), the No. 6-ranked team in the NAIA, losing by a score of 87-77.