Junior forward C. J. Miller tallied 24 points and pulled down six rebounds to help lead Westmont Men's Basketball (25-6) to an 83-59 win over San Diego Christian (7-17) in the first round of the GSAC Tournament. As the top-seeded team in tournament, Westmont will host both semifinal games on Saturday.
Third-seeded Arizona Christian (19-8) and second seeded Hope International (25-6) will tip-off in Murchison Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Westmont, ranked eleventh in the NAIA, will host fourth-seeded Concordia (20-10) at 7:30 p.m.
No. 24 Arizona Christian earned a spot in the semifinals with an 84-72 win over The Master's (16-14) while No. 17 Hope International edged Biola (15-16) by a score of 58-56. Concordia outlasted Vanguard 97-91 to make its way into the semifinals.
"Concordia is a worthy opponent who will be a great challenge for us," noted Moore. "We are looking forward to meeting that challenge."
Midway through the first half, the Warriors and Hawks were tied at 16. When the halftime horn sounded, the Warriors had built a 49-26 advantage.
"I'm calling tonight, 'Things that don't show-up in the box score'," said Moore. "Marcus Farrand came into the game when the score was 16 apiece. When he left the game (at 2:36 on the clock), it was not a tie game anymore. The momentum was our way and the lead was 14 (38-24). Marcus brought the energy and the passion that we were missing a little bit. We were playing a little tentative and Marcus played anything but tentative. I thought his play turned the game around and that is something that doesn't show up in the box score."
Farrand finished with four points, three rebounds and the admiration of his coach.
"Our two point guards played exceptionally well in the first half," said Moore of Niko Brooks and Brendan Hill. "They took very good care of the ball and were good defensively. They were good with their decision making and with their ability to lead a team."
Brooks tallied 10 points and dished off four assists while Hill notched six points, three rebounds and three assists.
"What a game C.J. had," said Moore of tonight's leading scorer. "He had 17 at halftime and his season high for the game. And Jordan (Sachs) had the tip-in at the end of the first half to put us up by 23. It was a great momentum feeder going into halftime."
Sachs tallied 16 points and collected eight rebounds.
Westmont shot 58.6 percent to San Diego Christian's 43.1 percent and outrebounded the Hawks 33-28. The Warriors committed just nine turnovers in the game.
On Saturday, fans will be able to enjoy both men's semifinal games for the price of one. Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors (62+) and $5 for students and youth. However, Westmont students and all local area high school students will be admitted free of charge due to the generosity of an anonymous donor.