PHOENIX, Ariz. -- In their second game in as many days, Westmont men's basketball (9-3) capped off a two-game stint in the Arizona Christian Classic with a victory over the Cougars of Spring Arbor (Mich.) (5-9).
En route to a 85-72 triumph, Warriors' customary sixth-men, Mantas Drungys and Nate Marsing – both in starting roles this evening – provided the heavy lifting.
"We received a very good game out of Mantas Drungys (22 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals) after C.J. Miller (11 points, 3 rebounds) got us off to a quick start in the first half," detailed Westmont head coach John Moore. "Nate Marsing (8 points, 5 rebounds) played 31 productive minutes, the most minutes he's played in a game in a Warrior uniform by far.
"Along with those three, our seniors on the whole played exceptionally well," continued Moore. "Brendan Hill recorded eight points, four rebounds, six assists and one steal to really lead our team in the 36 minutes (most on the night) that he played. Another senior, Marcus Farrand (4 points, 4 rebounds), contributed some solid minutes for us in the first half as well."
With starting guard Billy Keller out for the second consecutive game due to injury, and starting forward Jason Ritchey out after being injured in last evening's game against College of Wooster, the Warriors looked to their bench for much needed support.
"Our bench surely didn't disappoint us at all. They put in great work," offered up Moore. "It was fantastic to have consistency in the form of Daniel Carlin (14 points, 8 rebounds) as well. You can't take anything away from that guy. He just continues to rebound for us."
After watching a seven point second half lead dissipate yesterday in their heartbreaking loss to the number two ranked Fighting Scots, Moore expressed his satisfaction with the way his squad responded some 22 hours later against the Cougars.
"It was a very nice bounce back game for Westmont overall," stated Moore. "We shot almost 60 percent in the first half, defended extremely well in the second and outrebounded them 38-30. Even though we were very close to coming up 2-0 in a tournament that showcased very good teams, I'm satisfied with the way our team fought these past two days."
The Warriors now receive a restful 12-day break before they start play as the hosts of the 38th Tom Byron Classic on December 30.
Westmont first battles British Columbia Okanaga (2-12) in Murchison Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. The Warriors will then finish tournament play the next day in either the consolation game at three o'clock, or the championship game at 7:30. Depending on the first day's results, their opponent will be either Marygrove (Mich.) (0-12) or Saskatchewan (12-1).