Sean Shines in Santa Clarita

Submitted by: Ron Smith - February 3rd, 2016

 

Sean Harman

Sean Harman
(Photo by Brad Elliott)

Sean Harman tallied a career high 27-points – 24 in the first half – to lead #16 Westmont Men’s Basketball (17-5, 6-3 GSAC) to a 106-83 Golden State Athletic Conference win over the Mustangs of The Master’s College (4-14, 1-9). Harman made 10 of 12 from the floor including six of seven from beyond the arc.

“Sean and I had a good meeting earlier in the week. The way things were going, we didn’t know if Cory (Blau) was going to be available tonight,” explained Westmont head coach John Moore. “And with Hayden Anderson out, Sean was going to have to take on more of the scoring load. He is capable.”

Blau was questionable up until game time because of an injury experienced during the Vanguard game.

“Sean is a lot like Cory in terms of his confidence and his competitiveness. He is sometimes just a little too careful. I don’t want him to be careful. – I want him to be assertive.”

Assertive he was, from the opening tip. Harman scored eight of the Warriors first 11 points on two three-pointers and a jumper in the paint. That resulted in an 11-2 lead.

Westmont extended their advantage to 20-7 with 14:25 remaining in the opening frame. The Master’s responded, however, and pulled within two points (33-31) with just under seven minutes left in the first half.

The game remained even over the next five minutes. With two minutes before the intermission, Westmont held a 44-42 advantage. Then Harman hit another three to put the Warriors up by five. After a lay-up by the Mustangs’ Keegan Scott, Blau (12 points) knocked down a three-pointer to give the Warriors a 50-44 edge.

Two Warrior free throws made the score 52-44 before Harman scored with seven seconds remaining to put the Warriors up by 10. A steal by Ryan Brooks led to another scoring opportunity with under a second to play.

“With .7 seconds left we ran an out-of-bounds play,” described Moore. “David Gunn (13 points, five rebounds) rose and took a big shot. Instead of going into the locker room by 10 we went in by 13 (57-44). Sometimes those momentum pieces are back-breakers.”

After the intermission, Westmont picked up where it left off.

“I thought our starters did a really good job at the beginning of the second half,” noted Moore. “They scored on 15 of the first 16 possessions to take a 13 point lead up to 25 very quickly.”

Sean McDonnell (18 points, four rebounds) scored the first eight points of the second half for the Warriors, followed by a jumper from Britton Williams (nine points, seven assists) and another set of threes from Harmon and Blau. A couple of free throws by McDonnell gave Westmont a 75-50 lead with just under 15 minutes remaining.

Westmont took its largest lead of the night (33 points) when Noah Blanton wowed the crowd with a dunk that put the Warriors on top 86-53 with just over 11 minutes to play.

All 15 Warriors saw playing time in the game and all 15 found their way into the scoring column.

“It was great to play a lot of other players who deserved it,” said Moore. “We were able to get Steph (Inouye) some extra minutes and I thought he did a nice job leading that young group.”

Inoyue had the privilege of scoring the 100th point on the first of two successful free throw attempts.

“(Assistant coach) Jeff Azain said we should put Ryan Brooks in to play in his home area,” noted Moore. “He played a minute or two in the first half and we put him in early in the second half. He showed a lot of confidence out there. He did some things defensively we haven’t done and played with great confidence and energy.”

Jonathan Harrell was the last Warrior to make the scoresheet, completing a reverse layup with less than 10 seconds to play to account for the final score.

With the win, Westmont moves into third place in the GSAC standings, just one game behind #7 Hope International (18-4, 7-2) whom they will play on Saturday night at Murchison Gymnasium. Biola (21-3, 8-2) is a half game farther ahead in first place.

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