Benedictine-Mesa, playing its first official California Pacific Conference schedule, capped a three-win week by sweeping its first two games on the road in Northern California. After picking up a non-conference win at home, the Redhawks came from behind to tip Pacific Union, and then followed that with a thrilling overtime win at Simpson. Embry-Riddle, BenU's travel partner, split its two road games with the Pioneers and the Red Hawks.
Monday, December 12
BETHESDA 86, ANTELOPE VALLEY 83 (OT): Gunning for a third straight victory, the Pioneers fell just short against the Flames in Lancaster, Calif. UAV jumped out early and built an 11-point lead at the half. But early in the second half, a technical foul on the Pioneers sparked a run by Bethesda, which would finally tie the game 59-59 with the 5:17 remaining. UAV responded with a 10-4 run over the next few minutes, but the last push in regulation came from the Flames, who tied the game with 19 seconds left, and a desperation 3-pointer from near midcourt almost give Bethesda the win in regulation, but the shot attempt bounced left of the rim. With the game tied at 78-78 and just over a minute left in overtime, UAV deflected a pass that looked like it would lead to an easy Pioneer basket. Multiple players from both squads scrambled to corral the errant shot, which bounced to Bethesda's Michael Walker who calmly drained a 3-point dagger to take a three-point lead. A couple fouls and free throws later, the Pioneers' Steve Bush hit a clutch trey to make it a one-point game at 83-84. After Bethesda hit two free throws, UAV's Franky Teran came up short on a 3-pointer, dropping the Pioneers' record to 3-6 on the season. Teran paced the offense with 16 points, Miles Nolen-Webb and Steve Bush each recorded 15, and Jonathan Parker and Aragad Abramian each contributed 11 points.
Tuesday, December 13
BENEDICTINE-MESA 81, WESTERN NEW MEXICO 68: The Redhawks built momentum early and rode it the rest of the way, holding off the Mustangs in Mesa, Ariz. BenU had an outstanding first half that put them up 37-21 at the break, holding WNMU to just six field goals in the first twenty minutes, while shooting 48 percent from the field to open up a comfortable lead. The Redhawks extended the lead past 20 multiple times in the first ten minutes of the second half, the largest being 23 when Troy Conley drilled one of his four 3-pointers off of a pass from Robert Kincade with 11 minutes left to go. The Mustangs never surrendered, cutting the lead down to eight with 2:37 left to go, but the Redhawks put the dagger in 45 seconds later when Devin White completed a three-point play to push the lead back to 11. Monnard Brown finished with 21 points and seven rebounds to lead the Redhawks, and Richie Thornton V pitched in with 15 points and five assists. Conley and Jorge Cano also reached double figures, scoring 13 and 12, respectively, for the Redhawks, now 5-7 overall.
Friday, December 16
(RV) PACIFIC UNION 88, EMBRY-RIDDLE 75: In their conference home opener, the Pioneers used every player to overcome the Eagles' 3-2 zone and pick up their first conference victory in Angwin, Calif. Brandon Franklin, Jayson Marquez, and Rae Hubbard put on an impressive shooting display in the first period, combining for nine 3-pointers just. Hubbard led the team with 18 first half points as the PIoneers took a 47-34 lead into the break. The PUC offense picked up right where it left off in the second half. After they gave up two baskets, the team extended the lead to 20 points once again en route to the 13-point victory. Five Pioneers scored in double figures, highlighted by Ben Jazuk's 19 points off the bench. Hubbard's finished with 18, Marquez added 17, and Franklin chipped in 11. Devon Pinnock added 10 points and five assists for PUC. Gilbert Ibarra led ERAU with 16 points to go along with 11 boards, and Greg Edwards and Nick Johnson each scored 12 for the Eagles, now 0-1 in the Cal Pac and 2-8 overall.
Saturday, December 17
EMBRY-RIDDLE 70, SIMPSON 63: The Eagles notched their first conference victory of the season by topping the Red Hawks in Redding, Calif. ERAU knocked down 12 3-pointers and its zone defense seemed to stump the Red Hawks early. Logan Skurdal, Nick Johnson, and Jaran Hoover led the way for the Eagles, with all three connecting and three 3-pointers in the game. Skurdal led ERAU with 15 points, and Johnson added 12. Hoover finished with nine points, as did Greg Edwards, who also collected a team-high eight boards for the Eagles, now 1-1 in conference and 3-8 overall. Josh Brakkee had a big night for the Red Hawks, finishing with 20 points and eight boards. Aron Rudd also hit double digits, tossing in four treys and totaling 14 points. Alex Huerta pulled down a game-high nine rebounds for SU, now 0-1 in the Cal Pac and 1-13 overall.
BENEDICTINE-MESA 85, (RV) PACIFIC UNION 77: Playing their first official Cal Pac game, the Redhawks used a big second-half surge to take down the Pioneers, 85-77 in Angwin, Calif. BenU led by as many as nine in the first half, but PUC would roared back to take a lead into the halftime break, and continued that momentum into the second half, leading by eight just two minutes into the stanza. But the Redhawks were not deterred, responding with a 14-4 run over the next three and a half minutes, punctuated by three-pointers from Richie Thornton V and Brandon Dixon, to take the lead back, 48-46. BenU grew that margin, leading by as many as 12 after a Troy Conley 3-pointer made it 67-55 with just over seven minutes left. But the Pioneers did not go down without a fight, cutting the lead to four with just over three minutes left. BenU was able to hit free throws down the stretch to collect their second win in a row. Jorge Cano led the charge for the Redhawks, scoring 16 points on a 10-of-10 night from the free throw line. Conley poured in 13, Robert Kincade chipped in with 12, Joe Baldi added 10, and Monnard Brown pulled down 11 rebounds for BenU, which is now 1-0 in the Cal Pac and 6-7 overall. Ben Jazuk led PUC with 19 points, hitting 3-of-4 treys, Devon Pinnock added 14 points, and Noel Briones chipped in 13. Kwuan Geurrero finished with seven points and 11 boards for the Pioneers, now 1-1 in conference and 5-2 overall.
THE MASTER'S 123, LA SIERRA 70: The Mustangs outran the Golden Eagles in a non-conference match in Riverside, Calif. TMU had six players score in double figures as the team shot 54 percent from the floor, including 15-of-36 from the 3-point line. LSU, still winless in 12 games this season, had three players reach double figures. Kyle Hamilton finished with 19 points, and Curtis Brisbane added 10. Eduardo Gomez del Casal produced another double-double, totaling 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Golden Eagles.
No. 3 INDIANA WESLEYAN 67, CAL MARITIME 65: The Keelhaulers went toe-to-toe with the Wildcats in Vallejo, Calif. IWU, the defending NAIA Division II national champion, came into the game averaging over 95 points per game but were held in check by the CSUM defense, which held IWU's leading scorer, Bob Peters, to just four points. The Wildcats finished the first 20 minutes of the back-and-forth game up by four, and built that lead to as many as 12 with nine minutes remaining. But the Keelhaulers would not relent, chipping away at the lead to inch back to tie the score with 2:30 left in the game. The two teams exchanged scores the rest of the way, and when Daniel Radfords's desperation half-court shot was well off the mark at the buzzer, the last team to score won. Radford led CSUM with 24 points, Phil Randles added 12 points, and Justin Eisen chipped in 11. Brayden Morse grabbed 10 rebounds for the Keelhaulers, now 7-7 on the season.
Monday, December 19
BENEDICTINE-MESA 101, SIMPSON 96 (OT): In a game where neither team had a lead of more than seven points, the Redhawks of BenU outlasted the Red Hawks of Simpson in Redding, Calif. BenU, now 2-0 in Cal Pac play and 7-7 overall, took the second of two games of a Northern California road trip. SU, which falls to 0-2 in conference and 1-14 overall, led much of the game, but BenU stayed within striking distance throughout, and took an 84-83 lead near the end of regulation. SU's Jalen Cooper was fouled with 12.4 seconds remaining and calmly drained both free throws to put SU back on top. BenU's Robert Kincade bolted on the ensuring inbounds pass and pulled up at the top of the key and nailed an open 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds left and BenU back on top 87-85. BenU called time out to set up a press, but SU responded with a screen that got Cooper open and into the open court, where he banked in a lay up with under two seconds left to tie the game at 87-87. The end of the overtime period was just as exciting. BenU controlled the tempo most of the extra five minutes, but SU's Ruben Nwando checked into the game in the final minute after a third SU player fouled out and sank a 3-pointer to pull SU within one at 97-96. SU fouled Devin White on the next possession, and he sank both of his free throws to put BenU back up by three. SU's Nick Rodriguez was fouled intentionally with seconds to play, and after he missed the first of his two free throws, he missed the second on purpose, and BenU's Carter Aby was fouled. Aby made both of his free throws to finally put the game out of reach. Monnard Brown led BenU in scoring, powering in 21 points in the paint, White finished with 17, Kincade added 15, Gus Leon chipped in 14, and Aby had 10. For SU, Josh Brakkee led all scorers with 26 points, Joseph Bosetti tossed in 17, Cooper and Aron Rudd each had 12, and Earl Schexnayder finished with 10.
ANTELOPE VALLEY 85, HASTINGS (NEB.) 65: The Pioneers rolled past the Broncos in the opening round of the UAV December Classic in Lancaster, Calif. The victory improved UAV's overall mark to 3-6.
Tuesday, December 20
San Diego Christian at La Sierra
UAV DECEMBER CLASSIC, at Lancaster, Calif.
Life Pacific vs. Antelope Valley
Friday, December 23
(RV) Pacific Union at University of Pacific (exhibition)
Thursday, December 29
UAV NEW YEAR'S CLASSIC, at Lancaster, Calif.
Antelope Valley vs. Mount Marty
THE MASTER'S NEW YEAR'S CLASSIC, at Santa Clarita, Calif.
UC Merced vs. The Master's
PURPLE AND GOLD POET CLASSIC, at Whittier, Calif.
La Sierra vs. Whittier
TOM BYRON CLASSIC, at Westmont, Calif.
Cal Maritime vs. Occidental
Friday, December 30
(RV) Pacific Union at Notre Dame de Namur
Benedictine-Mesa at Western New Mexico
Embry-Riddle at Miramar
UAV NEW YEAR'S CLASSIC, at Lancaster, Calif.
Antelope Valley vs. Thompson River
THE MASTER'S NEW YEAR'S CLASSIC, at Santa Clarita, Calif.