THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Playing a young George Fox (Ore.) team, the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team used an 11-0 run in the first half to sprint to a 76-63 non-conference victory at the Gilbert Arena tonight.
After shooting 63.6 percent from three-point range in the opening half, the Kingsmen came back to knock down another pair in the second stanza to finish the night 56.3 percent behind the arc. Overall, CLU combined for a 49.1 shooting percentage. Leading the way was freshman Justin Kam who paced a group of four Kingsmen in double figures with 14 points while Connor McGuire was a monster on the boards, grabbing 17 rebounds, which was one shy of half the entire team as Cal Lutheran finished with 35 as a unit.
An 11-11 tie was broken by Kam. Sam Cirillo knocked down a three-pointer on a pass from Dan Wade followed by a Kam three and another Cirillo bucket from long range to cap off an 11-0 run and open a 22-11 lead. CLU took a 44-29 advantage into the break, paced by a dozen points from Kam and seven rebounds from McGuire.
The second half saw the Bruins outscore the Kingsmen 34-32, but the cushion was enough as CLU held on for the double figure win.
Joining Kam with 10 or more points tonight for the Violet and Gold were Dan Wade, Kellen Birdsall and Cirillo with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Additionally, McGuire, Adrian Francis and Jeremy Sulker-Hall had eight apiece. Francis and McGuire handed out three assists apiece. Defensively, McGuire added three blocks to his 17 rebounds while Kam nabbed a pair of steals and Jacob Dawe chipped in with two blocks in seven minutes.
George Fox (2-7) was led by JJ Lacey with a game-high 16 points and Thomas Rico finished with 13 after pouring in 11 first half points. Jacoby Wolfe grabbed a team-leading six rebounds.
Cal Lutheran (3-2) returns to the Gilbert Arena to host the 2015 Thrivent Financial Tournament on Dec. 29-30. CLU will first face Geneva (Pa.) and will play the winner of the Tufts (Mass.) and