California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Kingsmen pull out victory over Banana Slugs

    sity men’s basketball team took on the University of California Santa Cruz Banana Slugs for a second time this season on Dec. 6. In a close game, the Kingsmen came out on top 73-64.

    After four minutes of play Cal Lutheran took an early 12-6 lead.  The Kingsmen extended the lead to 10 after a 3-pointer by junior guard Adrian Francis.

    With eight minutes left to play in the first half the Kingsmen pushed their lead to 13 points with back-to-back 3-pointers from senior forward Connor McGuire and freshman guard Justin Kam, making it 28-17.

    “We did not play up to [the] potential that we should [have]. We lost concentration a little bit. It is always a challenge to play UC Santa Cruz because they are a very competitive team,” Head Coach Rich Rider said. “It is nice to win when things don’t go well. We are using this preseason to get ready for January. So we will look at the tape tomorrow and get better.”

    The Banana Slugs closed the gap to a five-point deficit with 40 seconds left in the first half. Will Crain, a freshman center for the Banana Slugs, made a jump shot to cut the deficit to nine points and put the score at 39-31 Cal Lutheran. A steal by sophomore guard Adam Marlow led to a 3-pointer by sophomore forward Sam Gabbard and put the score at 39-34 in favor of Cal Lutheran.

    “Defense was definitely a liability this game. We struggled on that end of the floor. The help defense was there but the individual defense was not,” McGuire said. “We will come back Monday and start working on that.”

    At the 13:38 mark in the second half the Banana Slugs shrunk Cal Lutheran’s lead to just one with a 3-point jump shot by freshman guard Ben Dorfman making the score 44-43.

    “It was a rough day. We have had a few rough practices this past week. We had to come out and battle through it. It was a tough win but I am glad we came through it as a team,” Francis said. “There are going to be tough games down the road and I am glad we got through this to prepare for those.”

    Just a few minutes later three Kingsmen combined to put up 11 points: Francis contributed two free throws and a lay up, Kam poured in a 3-pointer and McGuire made two free throws and threw down a dunk, putting the score at 55-46.

    Cal Lutheran held the lead the whole game. Its highest advantage was 13 points. The Kingsmen shot 45 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free throw line.

    According to, Francis led the team with 24 points along with six rebounds and six assists. McGuire also contributed with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Defensively, Kam led the way with four steals.

    Despite what Rider described as a poor showing from Cal Lutheran, the Kingsmen pulled out their fourth win of the season.

    “We are going to look at the tape. We made some silly mistakes that are very correctable. If we concentrate, have calmness and sureness, watch the tape and say ‘we will do better,’ we will be OK,” Rider said. “These guys will. They respond and that’s the nice part about it. They want to get better and they will.”

    The Kingsmen will host the Bethesda University Flames on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Gilbert Arena.

    Courtney Sooy
    Staff Writer
    Published December 9th, 2015