MBK: Westmont rolls in season opener

Guard Cory Blau racked up 19 points and four rebounds, leading No. 17 Westmont to an 87-71 season-opening basketball victory over La Verne on Thursday night at Murchison Gym.

“We saw some things that we were capable of doing, which is exciting to think about,” said Westmont head coach John Moore who just launched his 28th season as a head coach (23rd at Westmont). We saw our depth, we saw some new athleticism and we saw some guys who played with good energy.”

Hayden Anderson scored 10 points, Sam Bentz had nine points and four rebounds and Sean McDonnell contributed eight points and five rebounds.

LaVerne held the lead for the first 12 minutes of the game until Blau struck from downtown to put the Warriors up 25-23. Sam Harmen (8 points) followed with a layup as did Olisa Nwachie to give Westmont a 29-23 advantage.  The Warriors never trailed again.                                      

“I thought we improved defensively in the second half,” said Moore about his team that allowed La Verne just 34 second-half points. They shot it very well in the first half (44.0%), but I thought our defense was much, much better in the second half.

The Warriors also took advantage of board superiority to record a 44-23 advantage and score 19 points off of second-chance points.

“We had 15 offensive rebounds. Those are energy rebounds,” noted the coach.

The Warriors shot 50.9 percent from the floor (29 of 57), including 53.3 percent in the second half (16 of 30). They were also 10 of 21 from three-point range (47.6 percent).