Riverside, Calif. - It took some extra basketball, but the men's basketball team pulled out a season opening,104-95 win, over Westmont College tonight at the Alumni Pavilion. It was also the season opener for the Warriors, who finished with a 25-7 record last season, and qualified for the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament last season.
The Warriors wasted no time as they pushed out to an early 15-5 lead, just four minutes into the game. They pushed the lead to 12 points (20-11) at the 13:47 mark of the first half. In the next four minutes, the Golden Eagles used a 13-4 run to tie the score at 24-24, eventually taking their first lead of the game at 26-24. The remainder of the first half was a back-and-forth affair with the Warriors taking a slim 47-44 lead into the half.
In the second half, the Warriors again pushed their lead to double digits, but the Golden Eagles used some perimeter shooting from freshmen Wolfgang Wood and Ian Mozeleski to climb their way back into the game and eventually take the lead.
The Golden Eagles would push their lead to seven points in the latter part of the second half, but the Warriors chipped away at the lead in the final minutes of the game, to trail by just one point 86-85 with just over five seconds remaining. On the subsequent possession, Daveon Woods was sent to the foul line, with the Golden Eagles in the double bonus. Woods made one of the two free throws, extending the lead to 87-85 with 3.6 seconds left in the game. After a near turnover on the sideline, the Warriors were awarded the ball out-of-bounds and capitalized in a big way, by throwing the inbounds pass to the basket which was collected and scored, tying the game at 87-87. A last second heave by Woods fell short after hitting the rafters, sending the game into overtime.
The Golden Eagles were able to regroup to take control of the overtime period. The team made enough free throws down the stretch and outscored the Warriors 17-8 in the overtime period, on their way to the 104-95 victory.
Daveon Woods led all scorers with 35 points to go along with 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals. Woods was one of four Golden Eagles to score in double figures. Mozeleski connected on five three-point shots and added four free throws to finish with 19 points. Wood added 18 points and Lyombo Loundu finished with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Garrett Kiefer led the team with 10 rebounds.
The Golden Eagles, as a team, shot 50 percent from beyond the arc (14/28), and they were 33-for-73 from the field (45%).
The Warriors also had four players score in double figures. Jason Ritchey led the way with 29 points, followed by Billey Keller (19), Christopher Miller (12), and Kyle Gordon (12).
The men's basketball team will now turn their attention to Cal Poly Pomona. The Golden Eagles (1-0) will travel to Pomona next Saturday night, at 6:30pm.