Merced, CA - The Golden Eagles men's basketball team was looking to get back in the win column this afternoon as they matched up against the Bobcats of UC Merced. The Bobcats entered the game in search of their first win of the season. Needless to say, both teams were looking at this opportunity and ready to compete. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, the Bobcats built a comfortable first half lead that they would not relinquish, going on to win their first game of the season 90-80.
Both teams jumped out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The first few minutes of the game consisted of six ties and nine lead changes, but by the end of the first half, the Bobcats built a 15-point lead, 50-35, they would take into the locker room.
The second half was a much tighter affair, but the Golden Eagles were unable to erase the lead built up by UC Merced. The Golden Eagles did make a couple of late runs to cut the lead to six points in the latter half of the second half, but that would be as close as they would get.
La Sierra shot 49-percent, connecting on 30-of-61 attempts. Merced shot a slightly better, capitalizing on 34-of-68 attempts, for 50-percent. Both teams converted on seven three-point shots. But it would come down to the four extra field goals and two additional free throws converted by the Bobcats that would make the difference in the final score.
Freshmen guard Marcos Hazelwood led the team in scoring with 27 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Joshua Zonker added 14 points and seven rebounds and Bennett Shaw finished with 13 points and six assists.
The Bobcats Aki Chambers led all scorers with 36 points in the victory.
La Sierra falls to 3-17 on the season. They will have some time to work some things out on the practice court prior to their next game. Their next game will be on January 17 when they face Bethesda University.