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COLLEGE ROUNDUP : Westmont Holds Off Determined Vanguards

Westmont took control in the second half and defeated Southern California College, 76-66, in a Golden State Athletic Conference men’s basketball game Saturday at SCC.

Because SCC’s game with Point Loma Nazarene was postponed because of rain Tuesday, this was the Vanguards’ conference opener and Coach Bill Reynolds was eager to see how his team would stack up.

Turns out, the Vanguards (10-8, 0-1) gave Westmont (11-4, 2-0) all it could handle in the first half, but faded fast in the second. Reynolds was pleased with his team’s intensity, something that hasn’t been true often this season.

“I think we can compete in this league at least,” Reynolds said. “That’s a good sign. We were starting to wonder.”

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SCC led by as many as eight points in the first half, but missed several shots from close range, and allowed Westmont to get close. Westmont cut the lead to one, 32-31, when Matt Gazaway made a 15-footer at the buzzer.

The Warriors pounded the ball inside in the second half, mostly to 6-foot-8 freshman Braden Weber. Weber scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and three consecutive baskets by him gave Westmont a 13-point lead, 66-53, with 4 minutes 5 seconds left.

The Vanguards cut the deficit to four points, 68-64, on two free throws by Chauncey Woolridge with 1:16 left but Westmont’s Zak DeMatteo followed with a breakaway layup and the Vanguards never got closer.


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