SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 23 Vanguard secured its position as the lone unbeaten Golden State Athletic Conference team when it defeated Westmont 85-74 Tuesday evening Murchison Gym. Junior DeAngelo Jones (Cheney, Wash.) scored a season-high 30 points in the win on 8-for-14 shooting.
With the victory, the Blue and Gold improve to 16-2 overall and 3-0 in GSAC play.
The Lions and the Warriors appeared evenly matched from the beginning, as the early minutes were characterized by momentum swings and lead changes. A 7-0 Warriors' run gave WC its biggest lead of the evening (19-14) at 9:17, but Vanguard answered, putting together its own 9-0 run in the ensuing two minutes to take a four-point lead (23-19).
The rest of the half was back-and-forth, concluding with a Jones lay-up which put the Pride up by a pair at the break (31-29).
Leading all players heading into the locker room was Jones, with 9 points. Junior Chris Gorman (Oceanside, Calif.) and freshman Zach Allmon (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) registered 8 and 7 through 20 minutes of play, respectively, for the Lions.
Jones took over in the second, nailing two from behind the arc in the first two minutes to give Vanguard a 40-32 edge early.
Vanguard found its rhythm in the following minutes as Allmon, senior Noel Larkins (Placentia, Calif.) and Jones extended the margin to 10 points (48-38) with back-to-back-to-back buckets just before the 15:00 mark.
Larkins was left open on the following two possessions, and could not be contained as he secured the Pride's largest advantage of the night (54-41) while simultaneously forcing a timeout from Westmont head coach John Moore.
After the chat, the Warriors put together a small run, but a pair of electric dunks from Allmon served as ammunition for the Blue and Gold which led by as many as 13 down the stretch before claiming the 11-point victory.
The Lions forced 18 turnovers in the competition and amassed 11 steals. Gorman tallied a game-best 3 steals while compiling 14 points in 33 minutes.
Allmon had a stellar night, coming off of the bench to record 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. He shot an impressive 7-for-9 from the field in the game.
Senior Preston Wynne (Wellpinit, Wash.) scored 10 in the affair while grabbing seven off of the glass.
Westmont falls to 11-6 (0-3 GSAC) with the loss.
Vanguard travels to No. 13 Arizona Christian on Saturday for a 7:30 pm contest with the Firestorm.