FOREST GROVE — Westmont Men’s Basketball (6-1) capped off their pre-conference schedule on Saturday night with an 84-74 win over the Pacific (Ore.) Boxers. After having a one possession lead at halftime, the Warriors dictated the pace of play in the second, as they capped off the road trip with their sixth win of the young season.
“Pacific was a pretty good team that I imagine will be at the top of their league this year,” offered Westmont head coach Landon Boucher. “It was the first time we’ve been in a game where it was that close at halftime, and it was the first time we had to stretch a lead in the second.
“We got defensive stops down the stretch, and made our free throws when we had to.”
During the first half, the Warriors and the Boxers traded several runs, with neither team letting the other get out of reach. Drew Ramirez, Amir Davis, and Zeke Viuhkola each had a half-high six points during the first period, with Ramirez sinking two of Westmont’s five 3-pointers.
Westmont out-rebounded Pacific 17-11 during the half, but for the second day in the row the Warriors turned the ball over often, this time committing 11 first-half turnovers. Westmont’s inability to hold on to the basketball, mixed with 50% 3-point from Pacific, did not allow the Warriors to create any distance between themselves and the Boxers, leading Westmont to settle for a 37-35 lead at intermission.
In the second half, Westmont’s lead began to grow with 15:09 to play, when Ramirez knocked down a 3-pointer in transition to put Westmont up 52-44. The Boxers stayed within that margin for several minutes, but with 4:54 to play, Anthony McIntyre hit a back-breaking 3-pointer to stretch Westmont’s lead to 12 points. Two minutes later, free throws from Viuhkola gave Westmont their largest lead of the night, putting them up 77-63 with 2:15 remaining.
Moments later, Westmont ran the clock out to cap off their sixth win in seven pre-conference games.
In the end Westmont still committed 22 turnovers, but the Warriors out-rebounded the Boxers 35-19 to give themselves several more possessions. Davis finished tied for a game-high 15 points, while also grabbing a game-high nine rebounds. McIntyre, who led Westmont with five assists, also collected 15 points.
In his second game in a Westmont uniform, Tone Patton Sr. collected eight points and eight rebounds off the bench.
“Our two freshmen, Zeke and Quinn Thorne, were both really good off the bench,” noted Boucher. “Quinn gave us a really good burst in the first half, picking up a couple steals, and hitting a three to get momentum on our side.
“Having Tone tonight was refreshing. He’s getting back in the groove of what he can do, and he was great in 17 minutes. We made the defensive adjustments late in the second half, and that’s something we haven’t been able to do when the defense is at the other end and not in front of our bench.
“We made the important plays we needed to down the stretch, and now we’re excited to get home and play on Thursday.”
Westmont will now begin preparation for their GSAC opener on Thursday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. To open up their GSAC slate, the Warriors will host #1 Arizona Christian in Murchison Gym. Links to tickets and live coverage are available on the Westmont Athletics website.