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Archive for January, 2012

Ugandan Basketball Coaches Visit Westmont

January 30th, 2012

Westmont men’s and women’s basketball is currently serving as hosts to four Ugandan coaches who are touring the United States in an effort to promote the sport of basketball in their home country as part of the International Sport Connection Basketball Coach Training and Cultural Exchange Program.

The trip is organized by Dr. Jens Olmi, assistant professor of health, exercise and sports sciences, as well as the director of the International Sport Connection. It is funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Sports United Division.

“The outcome that the State Department wants is for people of the United States to engage and build friendships with the people of Uganda,” explained Olmi, a 2001 Westmont graduate. “The interest of the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association is to help the game of basketball develop in Uganda.

“My personal interest is helping coaches transition from a narrow focus on talent development and strategy implementation to a more comprehensive vision of coaching which involves using sports to help youth develop and promote development of communities – helping them to be prepared for future responsibilities they will encounter as husbands and wives and mothers and fathers and employees and community members.”

Warriors Triumph over Sea Lions

January 29th, 2012

Fourth-ranked Westmont Women’s Basketball improved its overall record to 20-1 and its Golden State Athletic Conference mark to 10-0 with a 65-48 victory over the visiting Sea Lions of Point Loma Nazarene (13-9, 4-6 GSAC) on Saturday night. The win was the fifteenth in a row for the Warriors.

Westmont got strong play out of its two starting inside players, both of whom recorded double-doubles. Junior forward Tugce Canitez tallied 24 points and 14 rebounds while senior post Lisa Peterson added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

“I was definitely pleased with our effort on the boards, especially in the second half,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “We were able to get 13 offensive rebounds in the second half and we were able to score a lot off of those rebounds. That was really important, especially because Point Loma were sitting in a 2-3 zone. Giving ourselves second chances was really important tonight.”

Also coming up big in the scoring column was senior guard Katie Kittle who tallied 14 points on four-of-nine shooting from behind the arc. Kittle, who also pulled down four rebounds, has brought her career scoring total to 985 and will likely soon become the ninth Warrior to reach the 1,000 career point mark.

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Warriors Fall to Sea Lions

January 29th, 2012

Westmont Men’s Basketball, ranked at number 12 in the NAIA, continue to struggle in home games, falling to Point Loma Nazarene (13-6, 6-4 GSAC) 82-68 in a Golden State Athletic Conference game on Saturday night. The Warriors are now 15-4 overall and 7-3 in GSAC play. All three of the Warriors’ GSAC losses have come at home.

The Warriors outshot the Sea Lions 49.0% (24 of 49) to 42.1% (24 of 57). However, Westmont lost the battle of the boards (46-24) and was out shot from the three-point arc with Point Loma draining seven from three-point range to the Warriors’ three. Point Loma also shot better from the free throw line, making 27 of 34 (79.4%) to Westmont’s 17 of 29 (58.6%).

The Warriors led for most of the first half, though never by more than five points. With Westmont up 22-18 with five minutes remaining before intermission, Point Loma went on a 7-0 run to take the lead 25-22. As it turned out, the Sea Lions never relinquished the lead. At the halftime buzzer, Mark Klassen drained a three to give the Sea Lions a five-point advantage (33-28).

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Sagehens and Warriors, All Knotted Up

January 27th, 2012

Westmont Baseball inaugurated the 2012 season with the most unsatisfying of baseball results – a tie. Playing against Pomoma-Pitzer, the Warriors took a 7-6 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but the Sagehens’ Nick Gentili scored on a wild pitch with two away to even the score at seven-all.

After Westmont’s Michael Kwan struck out Mark Okuma to end the ninth, the game was called for darkness by the umpires. The contest will not be completed later, making it only the second game since 1958 that the Warriors have finished in a tie.

Starting pitcher Daniel Cabuling struggled in the second inning, walking the first four batters before leaving the game with one run scored and the bases load. Torin Shaikh replaced Cabuling on the mound and coaxed Sam Fox into fouling out before convincing Mike Moyer to ground into a double play to end the Sagehen’s threat.

Still down 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Westmont left fielder Greg Ruggles led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by J.J. Turbin. Designated hitter Tim Leary stepped to the plate and recorded his first hit of the 2012 campaign – an RBI double to left-center field.

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Damron’s 17 leads Warriors to Road Win

January 25th, 2012

Twelfth-ranked Westmont Men’s Basketball took over sole possession of first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference with a 60-58 at Fresno Pacific (12-8, 3-6 GSAC) on Tuesday night.

With the win, Westmont improves to 15-3 overall and 7-2 in GSAC play. At the midway point of the GSAC season, Westmont is currently one game ahead of three teams that are tied for second place – #10 The Master’s, #16 Azusa Pacific and #18 Concordia.

The Warriors struggled in the first half, falling behind 25-10 with five and one-half minutes to play before the break. With two minutes to play, Fresno Pacific still led by 14 points (29-15). However, a 7-0 run over the final minute and 45 seconds cut the Sunbirds’ advantage to seven points (29-22) at intermission.

“We needed to cut (Fresno Pacific’s lead) down before halftime to within 10,” said John Moore about the late first-half rally. “To come out in the second half with the energy we did allowed us to make it a ball game.”

Westmont came out firing in the second half, producing a 16-5 run with 13 points coming from Cooper Damron (17 points, 7 rebounds).

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Westmont Perfect after First Round of GSAC

January 25th, 2012

Westmont junior forward Tugce Canitez tallied 30 points and 19 rebounds as #4 Westmont Women’s Basketball earned an 80-68 Golden State Athletic Conference victory over Fresno Pacific (11-10, 3-6 GSAC) on Tuesday night in Fresno. The win was the fourteenth in a row for the Warriors who finish the first half of the GSAC season with an overall record of 19-1 and a perfect 9-0 conference mark.

“Fresno Pacific has been playing very well this season, especially here on their home court,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “Saturday night, they were ahead of Vanguard, which is in second place in our conference, with a minute to go.”

Senior post player Lisa Peterson recorded her second double-double of the season consisting of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Katie Kittle added 17 points, four assists and three rebounds. Playing in her hometown, junior guard Larissa Hensley racked up eight points, five assists and three rebounds.

After a game-opening bucket by Fresno Pacific’s Brandi Blackwell, Westmont went on a 14-0 run to take a lead they would never relinquish. Six times the Sunbirds fought back to within six points but could not find a way to get any closer.

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Branson Receives Multiple Player of the Week Awards

January 23rd, 2012

Coming off a 35-point game against then #6 Concordia, junior guard Preston Branson of Dallas, Texas has been honored as both the Golden State Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week and the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Male Athlete of the Week. Against Concordia, a perennial powerhouse, Branson made 12 of 14 from the floor (85.7%) and 10 of 13 from the free throw line (76.9%).

“They say the cream rises to the top,” said Westmont head coach John Moore. “That certainly was the case on Saturday night with Preston Branson. He scored 35 points in a game against a team that has won the GSAC Championship the last few years. He was a Warrior in every sense of the word. It is rare for a player to shoot more than ten shots and shoot better from the field than from the free throw line. Especially when you are a very good free throw shooter as Preston is.”

The Warriors’ victory snapped a 24-game home winning streak by Concordia (15-4, 5-3 GSAC) and kept Westmont (14-3, 6-2) in a tie for first-place in the GSAC standings. In the NAIA Men’s Basketball National Rating released today, Westmont moved up from number 16 to number 12 while Concordia fell to #18.

Branson’s 35 points was the second-highest total of his Westmont career and marked the third time he eclipsed 30 points in a game. On December 30, 2010, Branson tallied 40 points against British Columbia in the championship game of the Tom Byron Classic.

Branson Scores 35 as Westmont Downs Concordia

January 22nd, 2012

Westmont Men’s Basketball (14-3, 6-2 GSAC), ranked at number 16 in the NAIA, pulled off a 90-85 win over #6 Concordia (15-4, 5-3) on Saturday night in a Golden State Athletic Conference showdown in Irvine. The win ended a 10-game losing streak to the Eagles, dating back to the 2005-06 season.

Junior guard Preston Branson scored 35 points, going 12 of 14 from the floor and 10 of 13 from the free throw line. Senior point guard Niko Brooks added another 18, making seven of eight from the floor while junior guard Jordan Sachs tallied 14 points with a seven-of-eight performance from the free throw line.

“Our point guards Niko Brooks and Brendan Hill were pretty special tonight,” said Westmont head coach John Moore, Brendan was very special, he had nine assists.”

The Warriors shot an astounding 73.8 percent from the floor (31 of 42), the second best percentage in Westmont history.

“We shot a lot of layups -and made a lot,” noted Moore. “Any time you can hold off on making a lot of three-point shots against Concordia, good things are going to happen. Anytime you can shoot that kind of percentage against a team like Concordia that is so strong defensively on their floor is very encouraging. They are one of the best defensive teams in the country.”

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