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College Basketball

Sam Bentz’s Big Night Lifts Westmont Over Concordia

IRVINE — Sam Bentz tallied 21 points to lead Westmont Men's Basketball to an 81-72 win over the Eagles of Concordia on Tuesday night.

Bentz went 5 of 11 from the floor, including two buckets from beyond the arc, and made all nine of his attempts from the charity stripe. The junior forward also tallied a team-high four assists.
 
The win snapped a three-game losing streak against the Eagles and was the first victory in CU Arena since January of 2012.
 
Also scoring in double-figures for the Warriors (5-0) were Cory Blau (16 points) and Sean Harman (14 points). Sean McDonnell (seven points) led the team in rebounding with seven while Hayden Anderson (nine points) pulled down six boards.
 
The score remained close throughout the contest with neither team achieving a double-digit advantage. Concordia (1-4) took its largest lead with 8:20 remaining in the first half when Brian Chambers (20 points) drained a three-point shot to put the Eagles up 22-17.  Westmont responded with a 7-0 run consisting of a pair of free throws by Harman, a layup by Bentz and a three-pointer by Blau.
 
By halftime, the lead had changed hands six times and the score had been tied another six times. At the buzzer, Westmont held a slim 41-38.
 
Westmont notched a six-point advantage at the start of the second half when Blau converted an 'and-one' play to put the Warriors on top 44-38. The Eagles would stay within striking distance throughout the final frame and three-times pulled to within one point. However, Westmont rebuffed each surge and never relinquished the lead.
 
With just under four minutes to play, the Warriors held a two-point advantage (68-66) before a layup by Anderson and two free throws by Blau put Westmont on the right side of a 72-66 score. After Concordia's Geoff Gerlach (14 points) scored on a layup in the paint, Bentz blessed the Warriors with a traditional three-point play that put Westmont up 75-68 with 1:32 left.
 
Seconds later, Justine Davis cut Westmont's lead to five with a pair of free throws. However, Bentz responded in kind to restore the Warriors' seven-point lead (77-70) with 45 seconds left on the clock.
 
At the 35-second mark, the Eagles' Adam Turner slammed home a dunk, but it was the last points that Concordia would score. Bentz sealed the deal with four more free throws to insure the Warrior victory.
 
After Thanksgiving, the Warriors will take their newly minted 5-0 record to the Bay Area to participate in the Bud Presley Classic at Menlo College. On Friday, Westmont will take on Southern Oregon (4-2). Then on Saturday, Westmont will face off with UC Merced (1-5). Both games are scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off.

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