MBK: Westmont beats rival Biola

LA MIRADA — Tonight the Westmont men’s basketball team officially moved in to a tie for first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference. The conference currently has two teams (Concordia and Westmont) holding a record of 6-1, while Hope International and Arizona Christian each hold a 5-1 conference record. What does four teams only tallying one loss each mean?

Every. Single. Game. Matters.

Westmont certainly took care of business when they stepped on to the court against rival Biola University (13-8, 1-6 GSAC) tonight. Despite a little bit of a slow start, the Warriors had an excellent performance tonight on the basketball court as they took home an 83-65 win on the road.

“I don’t even want to talk about it because I don’t want to go away,” joked head Coach John Moore. “I feel like I will wake up and this will all be a dream. I think when you shoot as exceptionally well as we did tonight, everything on the court looks good. We have great shooters who hold some of the best three point shooting records in the country. When you go 15-24 from outside the arc, your team is going to do well.”

To say that the Warriors were “on fire” this evening would be an understatement. The second half of this game was unlike anything Westmont has demonstrated so far this season. The men went 17-24 from the field (70.8 percent) and 7-9 (77.8 percent) from the three point line in the final 20 minutes of the match-up. It felt like just about every trip down the court, they were scoring and making big plays happen.

“This evening was a showcase of our shooting ability,” reflected Moore. “I got on Cory Blau a little bit after the first half, because I thought he was playing outside of himself. But he came back and played superb basketball—sinking a team high of 20 points tonight. Additionally, Sean (Harman) looks like a guy who is shooting in his own backyard. He looks as comfortable as can be on the court. On top of that, Britton Williams played a great second half and Jerry Karczewski showed once again that he has great poise. For a freshman to go against Biola pressure and end with four assists, no turnovers and eight points in 17 minutes is great.”

Their offensive performance tonight was a direct reflection of the tough defensive pressure that the Warriors put out. They were able to control the game, because they continually befuddled Biola’s offense. In turn, this put the ball in the Warriors hands for most of the evening.

“Tonight was great for a guy like Nate Marsing. He rarely gets credit for all he does, because he doesn’t score a lot of points. But this was a fantastic defensive effort by him. He led this team defensively,” raved John Moore. “Our second half was full of really good, connected defense. We wanted to keep Biola off the three point line. In doing so, they only shot two three pointers in the second, both of which they missed. That tells you the kind of pressure we were producing.”

Once again, tonight was a night where a lot of players saw court time. One of the significant differences between the Warriors and the Eagles, is how deep the roster is. The Warriors do not just have five players who can produce big plays—they have a whole team.

“We continued to go to Daniel Carlin as long as we could. He got into some foul trouble, but he played 18 great (birthday) minutes and went 6-6 from the field in his second perfect game in a row” continued Moore.

“We have a really deep team. David Gunn played some great minutes while in there. With six shots, he played with great poise. Sam Bentz is a rockstar. We are undefeated since Sam has been healthy so he has been helping us make big plays. Sean McDonnell did some really, really nice things while in there tonight. He created some foul situations while also pulling down nine rebounds” closed out Moore.

Blau finished the game with a team high of 20 points. Carlin’s perfect shooting game got him 12 points on the evening. Harman racked up 11 points and Williams walked away with 10.

The top seed in the GSAC is up for grabs right now. The rankings will become clearer as we progress through conference play. Every game in the Golden State Athletic Conference matters—wins are crucial to secure a top spot.

The Warriors will have one of their hardest match-ups to date this Saturday January 24 at they travel south to take on #4 Hope International at 7:30 p.m.