IRVINE, Calif .– The Eagles marked the start of the new year with a decisive victory over rivals Point Loma Nazarene on Saturday with a former sea lion in the lead.
Joshua Caston scored a high of 22 points, Wayne arnold dropped from 19 and Kobe Sanders and Rodrick McCobb also scored in double digits to help Concordia Irvine defeat Point Loma, 72-66.
This is the Eagles’ sixth win in eight games and took them to 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the PacWest conference.
“It’s a big victory for us,” said CUI head coach Ken ammann. “They had us four times last year and we had to play well enough to beat them. They were a bit off pace without their point guard and we defended well, but Kaden Anderson is as good a player as you’ll see and they are a good team. We really tried not to let them move the ball for the open three and they got a lot on us, but our guys did a good job fighting. “
Former PacWest Player of the Year Kaden Anderson scored 18 points to keep the Sea Lions in the game. With CUI up to 63-60 with about two minutes to play, Kobe Sanders emptied a whopping three points after rounding a choice from his brother, Jalen sanders. Kobe finished with a dozen points while Jalen finished with nine rebounds, a high.
Another crucial moment came with less than a minute to go when Caston snatched the ball away from former PLNU teammate Luke Haupt and CUI. Jalen sanders dove down the field to retrieve the ball before calling time-out to save additional possession.
The Eagles topped larger Seal Lions 35-28 and picked up the pace scoring 15 points on 13 Point Loma turnovers.
The Eagles put the brakes on the defense on a first-half push and drove an important 21-5 run to take control of the game. This flurry included 14 consecutive points for the Eagles and ultimately CUI led by 11 at the break (38-27) while shooting 53% from the field in the first half.
“We hit the first basket of the game and we didn’t score for almost seven minutes,” Ammann recalls. “They threw us a few wrinkles on the defensive end which slowed us down a lot, but I think we did a good job offensively and we fought. We also did a good job keeping them and Josh had a really good job. game. He played well – especially when we struggled to score the ball in the first half, he kept us close and attacked. “
McCobb added 10 points and eight rebounds. Matt Weyand from CUI, Cameron Finished, Matthew Brookins and Butler Cristian combined for 10 rebounds off the bench which also helped the home team win the battle of the boards.
The Eagles are now turning their attention to their next road trip to Northern California. CUI is scheduled to play at the Dominican on Thursday January 6 and at the Academy of Art on Saturday January 8 in the Bay Area. The Eagles will also visit Holy Names as part of this road swing, then play Fresno Pacific ahead of their next home game which is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. against Hawai’i Hilo.
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