New Westmont College basketball coach Landon Boucher had his debut delayed by nearly a month with five canceled games, but the Warriors gave him some extra time on Friday.
The Warriors hit game-tying shots at the end of both regulation and the first overtime before succumbing to Concordia College of Irvine, 101-99, in double overtime at Murchison Gym.
“I’m proud of our guys for never giving up,” Boucher said. “Concordia is a really good defensive basketball team, so I’m proud of our guys for scoring 99 against a team like that, even if it was two overtimes.
“They’re really athletic and we found ways to find open guys for shots. I anticipated it being a close game like this, which is why I scheduled this game.”
Boucher, a Westmont graduate who earned his master’s degree at Concordia, has taken over from longtime coach John Moore. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has kept the Warriors off the court except for an exhibition game against Cal State Northridge.
Cade Roth sent the game into the first overtime, 79-79, by beating the shot clock with a long three-pointer. He finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“It was clutch, but I expect Cade to make big plays like that,” Boucher said. “He’s that good.”
Abram Carrasco, the game’s leading scorer with 31 points on 12-of-25 shooting, put the game into a second overtime, 92-92, by stealing an inbounds pass and scoring with nine seconds on the clock. He also had six steals and four assists.
“He never gave up,” Boucher said. “Bram had a 6-foot-8 guy on him the whole game, but he found ways to get into the key and make plays.”
But Concordia led throughout the second overtime. Carrasco got the Warriors within a point, at 98-97, by getting a goal-tending call on his driving shot. The visitors pulled away, however, by making 3-of-4 free throws in the next 26 seconds to go with a Westmont turnover.
Ajay Singh’s tip-in at the buzzer left Westmont two points short. Singh finished with 27 points, 23 of which came after the first half. He made 12-of-15 shots.
“Tyler Austin and Tristan (Lloyd) both played well off the bench,” Boucher said. “Ajay (Singh) had a great second half.
“You can say that we have the same team as last year, but we’re such a different team in many aspects. Having Jordan Spaschak and Justin Bessard move on, we’re still trying to figure it out, like many teams are, with so few games.”
The Warriors, who’ve had two futures also canceled, are not scheduled to play again until its Golden State Athletic Conference home opener against Vanguard on Jan. 9. School officials are looking to schedule another game before then, however.