Westmont Men’s Basketball (3-0) won their third straight game to open the season on Tuesday night, after handing the Bethesda Flames (0-3) a 94-73 loss. The Flames played the Warriors closer than either of their first two opponents, but Westmont still kept the opposition at arms’ reach as the home team flirted with the century mark once again.
“I’m really glad we were able to play Bethesda,” said Westmont head coach Landon Boucher. “This team was so much different from the previous two teams we’ve played. They were as athletic as some of the top teams in the GSAC, and they played super hard. This was a good game for us to notice some things we need to sharpen up on.”
Anthony McIntyre led Westmont offensively with 20 points, as he shot eight of 15 from the field and three of seven from beyond the arc. Zeke Viuhkola once again provided a spark off the bench, finishing with 15 points, while Cade Roth and Amir Davis each added 12 points as well.
Davis also led Westmont with nine rebounds, while McIntyre led the club with five assists.
As a team, Westmont collected 21 assists compared to Bethesda’s 10, and made 14 3-pointers compared to the Flames’ seven. Westmont once again finished over 50% from the field, this time shooting a team wide 54.4% (37-68).
““While we had 21 assists, we weren’t the sharpest tonight,” admitted Boucher. “They forced us to turn the ball over 14 times. If there’s one positive from our team so far, it’s our ability and desire to pass the ball. Sometimes you have the desire to pass without the ability, and sometimes you have the ability to pass without the desire. On this team we have both.
“Anthony McIntyre had another five assist game, and Cade and Amir combined for another eight. We’re finding guys in the right spot, but we just have to sharpen it up a bit.”
In the first half of action on Tuesday, the Warriors were slow to get going offensively until Viuhkola took the lid off the basket with 12:35 remaining in the half. At that point, with Westmont leading 16-13 despite a slow start, Viuhkola came in off the bench and drained a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.
The freshman’s individual 6-0 run was the beginning of an eventual 30-12 run by the Warriors to end the half. After the Flames hung with the Warriors for nearly 10 minutes, the Warriors exploded on offense, finishing the half with a 46-25 advantage.
“Zeke off the bench was really good again,” noted Boucher. “He’s a stable presence off the bench. At the beginning of that run, Kyler Warren made a really good play, getting the rebound and then instantly looking up court to find Zeke in transition.”
In the second half, each team scored 48 points, with the sides trading runs for the final 20 minutes. Luckily for the Warriors, the damage was already done after their first half surge, allowing them to weather the storm as the clock winded down.
The Warriors now hit the road for four games, before coming home for their GSAC opener on November 17. Westmont will play twice this weekend, first tipping off at 12:30 on Friday against Pacific Union, and then facing off against Cal Maritime at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
“It’s going to be great to get on the road,” said Boucher. “Getting far away on a road trip that’ll be similar to an ACU or a Menlo trip will be great. It’s going to be good to spend time with each other off the floor, and then concentrate on playing a few good games.
“Both games this week will be good for us in different aspects. It’ll be nice to be away from home and continue to grow as a team.”
Links to live coverage for the entire road trip will be available on the Westmont Athletics website.
Following the road trip, Westmont will return home to play #1 Arizona Christian on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.