Men come up short while women advance to finals

Posted By Horizon Staff March 5th, 2013 in Sports : 0 COMMENTS

Cameron O’Neill
Staff Writer

As the buzzer echoed across the basketball courts, the #11-ranked Westmont men’s playoff hopes ended as the Concordia Eagles pulled off an upset. Despite a strong contribution of 24 points from Preston Branson, the Warriors came up short on Saturday, March 2, losing 80-77 in the semifinal round of the GSAC playoffs.

Despite a great effort from Branson, the Warriors were never able to take control of the game. Both teams battled back and forth, giving the spectators a suspenseful, close game throughout the night. Through the last five minutes of the game, the Warriors were unable to lead at all; an attempt to tie with a three-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim, ending the men’s GSAC playoff run.

The Concordia Eagles were led by junior guard Tim Harris and WHAT YEAR Peter Smith. Harris scored 17 points and Smith scored 16 points for the Eagles. With the win on Saturday night, the Eagles won a trip to the final round of the playoffs. They will face Arizona Christian University who beat Hope International on Saturday as well.

For the Warriors, the NAIA National Tournament just got a bit harder. The team will most likely make the tournament, but will be seeded lower than expected. The team will still be looking to go deep into the tournament and try to push towards the finals.

The Westmont women’s team also played in their tournament’s semifinal round at Westmont on Friday, March 1. The team that has yet to be defeated in any GSAC play this season left the court with a familiar feeling of victory. With their 62-47 win over San Diego Christian, the Warriors then prepared to take on Vanguard (22-3), who posed a tough challenge for the team.

Once again, fourth-year Tugce Canitez led the team with 27 points and 20 rebounds, recording yet another double-double. Third-year Kelsie Sampson also chalked up 10 points and 11 rebounds, giving the Warriors a strong presence in the post. First-year Ester Lee helped offensively. She was able to distribute the ball well, especially to Canitez.

Despite trailing by four points at halftime, the women’s team came back and dominated the second half, scoring 40 more points before the end of the game.

The team traveled to Concordia on Tuesday, March 5 for the final round of playoffs. See the article WHAT ARTICLE on the WHAT PAGE for a recap of their performance.

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