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College Basketball

Westmont Men Fall to No. 1 Master’s in GSAC Tournament Final

A late run by Westmont wasn't enough to catch top-ranked The Master's, and the Warriors fell, 88-73, in the Golden State Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament championship game on Monday night at Arizona Christian.

The Master's (29-2) earns the GSAC's automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament. No. 14 Westmont (24-7) expects to receive an at-large berth to the tournament next week in Kansas City

Brock Gardner led the way for The Master's, scoring 24 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to complete his double-double. He was also tied for a game-high four assists in the contest. 

Zac Jervis led the Warriors in scoring and rebounding with 18 points and eight boards. Jerry Karczewski and Olisa Nwachie both added 13 points in the loss. 

“There’s a reason The Master’s is the number one team in the nation," Westmont coach John Moore said. "We contained Brock Gardner and Timothy Soares in the first half. We contained Lawrence Russell in the second half. Bits and pieces of our defense were quite successful but we just couldn’t sustain it for the whole game.” 

Westmont cut a 10-point deficit to 64-60 with 5:51 left in the game. But The Master’s quickly went up by 12 after a 3-pointer from Darryl McDowell-White, and a three-point play from Soares, who added two more made free throws to put The Master’s up 72-60 with 3:29 remaining.

Westmont looked to stage one last run, but the Mustangs had other plans as they would go 10 of 16 from the free-throw line over the final two and a half minutes of the game. 

“We played the way we wanted to for 37 of the 40 minutes. They had a four-point lead with a little over five minutes left and that’s exactly where we wanted to be,” Moore said.

Harman had a gutsy performance with his 11 points. He was in the hospital in the morning due to suspected food poisoning,  Moore said. “Sean Harman is just so tough. I think he had food poisoning after we played Hope. He was very sick all day Sunday and we finally took him to the hospital. He got an IV and some antibiotics and left the hospital at 1:30 this morning.”

The NAIA tournament pairings will be announced on Wednesday, and Moore is excited about the Warriors going to Kansas City.

“We have a lot to look forward to," he said. "I thought we played exceptionally well in this tournament. We played three very good teams. We’ll build on this whole weekend. Kansas City is a great place for us. We’ve always looked forward to going and we’ve had a lot of success out there."

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