COSTA MESA, Calif. – Entering into Tuesday's Golden State Athletic Conference game, Vanguard and The Master's College appeared evenly matched, possessing identical 13-8 overall and 2-4 GSAC records. The game displayed something entirely different as the Lions controlled for the majority and collected the big 81-70 win at home.
The Mustangs rode out to a 6-0 lead early but Vanguard gradually reined them in until senior Taylor Kelly (Bakersfield, Calif.) put the Lions in the saddle at 4:29 (26-24) with his fourth 3-point basket of the half. The momentum from the deep shot propelled the Pride over the next several minutes, and the hard-working Vanguard team held a 35-30 lead as it paused for the break.
The half featured three lead changes and two ties.
Kelly led all players through 20 minutes with 14 points on four-of-five shooting from downtown. Sophomore Selle Hahn (Dakar, Senegal) came into the game and provided a vital spark, scoring seven points in just nine minutes for the Blue and Gold.
Vanguard opened the second with a 19-7 run as the Lions' usual suspects began to heat up. After going down 15 (54-39) at 10:08, The Master's also warmed and was able to cut the gap to 10 points (59-49) by the 8:06 mark.
The Mustangs could not contain the determined and composed Vanguard squad down the stretch, however, as the Lions closed strong to secure the 11-point victory.
GSAC Player of the Week Chris Gorman (Oceanside, Calif.) tallied 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game. Hann added 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, a blocked shot and a steal in 19 minutes while senior Ennis Whatley Jr. (Columbia, Md.) scored 12 and grabbed six off of the glass for Vanguard.
Junior Preston Wynne (Wellpinit, Wash.) and Kelly finished with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Kelly also boasted six boards and a team-best five assists in 25 minutes of floor time.
Vanguard improves to 14-8 on the year and 3-4 in GSAC play with the win while the Mustangs drop to 13-9 overall and 2-5 in conference games.