The Santa Barbara City College men’s basketball team fought hard to pick up its first win of 2022 on Saturday at the SBCC Sports Pavilion, as forward Adam Weingard’s 18-point, 14-rebound double-double helped lead the Vaqueros to a 77-71 win over L.A. Pierce.
The Brahmas (8-9, 0-3) tried to put a lot of on-ball pressure early on, full-court pressing and trapping SBCC’s ball-handlers. This opened up a lot of room for the Vaqueros (6-12, 1-3) to operate, as they shot an excellent 17-for-31 (54.8%) from the field in the opening half.
However, in a close first half, LA Pierce looked to gain some separation taking a six point lead with 5:48 left. From there, Santa Barbara went on a big 7-0 run, taking the lead back on an Elijah Simpson layup. The home side trailed at the half by a point, 41-40.
Things remained tight into the final 10 minutes, with SBCC trailing 55-52. A pair of layups by forward Jon Pearson may have shifted momentum in the Vaqueros’ favor. Weingard followed with a tough putback from in deep to put the Vaqueros back on top 59-58.
Simpson hit a sweet jumper fading to the baseline, and forward Brycyn Gossett put in a pair of layups to push the Vaquero lead to 69-62, their largest of the night.
The Brahmas made things interesting, coming back with six unanswered and cutting it to a one-point deficit in the final minute.
Forward Tommy Condon’s free throws with 32 seconds left extended it back to a three-point lead. The Brahmas had a chance to cut it back to one, but missed a pair of free throws, and Simpson iced the game from the line at the other end.
When they were able to beat the Pierce trap, the Vaqueros shared the ball on the break beautifully at times. They finished with 22 assists, just one shy of a season-best.
For the first time in their last four games, the Vaqueros shot 50 percent (29-58 FG) from the field, which helped to neutralize their 23-16 disadvantage in the turnover department.
After allowing Pierce to shoot 50 percent in the first half, the Vaqueros shut them down over the final 20 minutes, holding them to just 9-of-35 (25.7%) from the field.
Four of SBCC’s five starters shot at least 50 percent, and big man Luke Sinclair went a perfect 5-for-5 off the bench. The 6-foot-7 forward finished with season-highs of 10 points and three assists in just 13 minutes.
Weingard’s 18-point, 14-board performance notched his second double-double of the year. In addition to a new season-high on the glass, he enjoyed his highest field goal percentage (58.3%) on a 7-of-12 shooting night.
“I want to give a shoutout to Luke Sinclair,” SBCC head coach Devin Engebretsen said. “:He did a lot for us in the first half, and then he came up with a big rebound late on two missed free throws, grabbed the board and then called timeout. It’s little plays like that help us win.
“Adam Weingard had a great game for us too, but from a team perspective, it was the second half defense.”
Devin proved to a prophet during the game.
“I wrote on the board at halftime that if we could outscore them 37-31, we’re going home with a win… and the second half score was 37-30,” he said. “These guys are starting to figure out what it takes to play team defense, and holding those guys to 25 percent shooting in the second half shows their attention to our defensive end.”
The Vaqueros head on the road for three games this week, beginning with a trip to Oxnard today for a 5 p.m. tipoff.
Michael Jorgenson works in communications/media relations at Santa Barbara City College.