MBK: Arizona Christian hits the glass, beats Warriors

PHOENIX. – Westmont Men’s Basketball is a stellar 11-2 when competing inside the friendly confines of Murchison Gymnasium this year, with one such victory (72-68) on January 30 over Golden State Athletic Conference foe Arizona Christian. On the road, however, the Warriors are not so prodigious, amassing just a 2-8 record outside of Santa Barbara.

On Saturday afternoon, another far-off land was again not-so-nice to the road team wearing maroon, as the Warriors (15-11, 4-8 GSAC) dropped their fourth-straight conference game, this time in Phoenix to the #25 Firestorm (21-6, 7-5), 75-62.

For the first time in 26 games this season, Westmont was outrebounded by double-digits. In 22-of-26 games, the Warriors have collected more boards than the opposing team – by an average of 11 rebounds per game. Yet, the Firestorm decimated Westmont on the glass, 42-26.

Additionally, Westmont did not take advantage of their chances at the free-throw line. The Warriors connected on 10-of-21 attempts (47.6 percent), while the Firestorm nailed 28-of-40 (70 percent) shots at the charity stripe. This discrepancy alone accounted for more points than the contest’s final margin.

C.J. Miller (25 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal) scored at the 19:08 mark of the first half on Westmont’s first possession to give his team a 2-0 lead to consummate the contest. However, a three-point jumper with 18:29 remaining in the initial half by the Firestorm’s Jordan Block (14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists) produced the first and only lead change of the entire game.

After trailing by ten at the break (34-24), the Warriors would go on a run to pull within two, 42-40. Despite the best efforts of Miller, fellow senior Mantas Drungys (15 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals), and the rest of the squad, John Moore’s men would never break the deficit’s threshold.

Westmont wraps up regular-season GSAC play this upcoming “Eagles Week” as the Warriors return to home, sweet home to host the Eagles of #15 Concordia (19-9, 6-6), and Biola (16-12, 6-6), on Tuesday and Saturday respectively. Saturday evening’s affair will feature a senior night ceremony in honor of the seniors’ last stand at Kammerer Court.

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