In a dominant showing on Opening Night, Westmont Men’s Basketball began their season with a 114-45 win over the La Sierra Golden Eagles. After the first 20 minutes of play, Westmont led their opponent by nearly 40 points, before making history en route to victory in the second half.
“It was a great start to the season,” said head coach Landon Boucher, on the inaugural night of his third season. “I just loved how we passed the ball. We had 25 assists to nine turnovers with almost 10 new guys. That is not easy to do. We strive to be tough, smart, and unselfish, and those numbers showed we achieved that tonight.
“I loved how excited we were for each other. This team likes to play with each other, and that goes a long way. Tonight, we saw what effect that can have.”
Over the first 7:40 of action, Westmont brought the crowd alive with a 21-5 run to open the season. In his Warrior debut, Drew Ramirez highlighted the initial run with his first eight points, setting the tone for his dominant evening.
Later on, with 7:19 left in the half, fifth-year senior Cade Roth knocked down his second 3-pointer of the night, stretching the lead to 39-13. The initial run never truly ended in the first half, as the Warriors had an insurmountable 62-24 lead going into halftime.
During the first half, Westmont held La Sierra to a 29.2% clip from the field (7-24), while shooting 65.6% themselves (21-32). Ramirez led the Warriors individually in the first half with 18 points, while newcomer Amir Davis and returner Jalen Townsell each added eight of their own.
Westmont’s five starters — Ramirez, Roth, Townsell, Davis, and Anthony McIntyre — combined to score 45 points in the first half while shooting 16 of 21 from the field (76.2%).
“We were passing up good shots to get great shots,” reflected Boucher. “It’s a new offense for everyone. The only person who knows the offense we’re running is Cade. It was great how we were getting so many assists without turning the ball over.”
In the second half, the Warriors made history by tying, and then setting the program’s single game 3-point record. With 8:49 left in the second half, freshman Zeke Viuhkola drained a shot from beyond the arc, tying the previous team record of 19 3-pointers set in November of last season.
Then, with 7:25 left, Townsell hit Westmont’s record-breaking 20th 3-pointer of the night to put the club up 98-38.
Down the stretch, Westmont hit another trio of threes to end with a new school record 23 3-pointers. The men broke the previous women’s basketball record of 21 threes, which was set during the Opening Round of their Championship run in 2021.
“Our collective shooting ability is great,” assured Boucher. “We shot 38 threes, and I really liked a lot of them, if not all of them. I really can’t think of a bad three we shot tonight. Thirty is a good number for this team. When you’re seeing 60% with 38 attempts, that’s unbelievable.
“The reason those numbers were so good was because of the quality of the shots. We were moving the ball a ton and continuing to find shooters.”
Ramirez scored a game-high 27 points as he shot nine of 12 from the field, and seven of 10 from beyond the arc. Viuhkola, off the bench, was the next-highest scorer, as he scored 20 points thanks to five 3-pointers. McIntyre led the Warriors with five assists, as Townsell and Kyler Warren each collected seven rebounds.
“I’m really proud of Drew Ramirez,” offered Boucher. “He was so locked in on defense from the get-go. When you play that hard on defense, it opens up everything offensively. I love how he didn’t force anything, and that led to him shooting seven of 10 from three.
“I was really excited about Zeke’s performance off the bench, as a freshman. Scoring 20 points off the bench, without turning the ball over once, shows us he can be a punch off the bench.”
At the end of the night, Westmont shot 62.5% from the field (40-64), while limiting La Sierra to a field goal percentage of 31.7% (13-41).
“I loved the intensity I saw tonight,” concluded Boucher, “and now we have stuff to work on.”
Westmont returns to Murchison Gym on Saturday night, when they host the CalTech Beavers at 6 p.m. Tickets and links to live coverage are available on the Westmont Athletics website.