WJU Basketball

Warriors Hand Lions First Loss of the Season

ROCKLIN, Calif. – The No. 25 Warriors returned home for another Top-25 matchup hosting the undefeated No. 15 Vanguard Lions on Thursday night where fans got another phenomenal showing of GSAC competition. A slight edge to end the first half would turn into the Warriors handing the Lions their first loss of the season with a trio recording a double-double in the 88-64 victory.

“This was a fantastic team win, Lance Von Vogt said. “We can build on the toughness and resolve we displayed. Vanguard is undefeated for a reason. They are really really good. They pressure the ball better as good as anyone in the country. I knew we were going to have to overcome some uneven play and respond to adversity tonight and the guys definitely did.”

The Warriors exhibited a tight defense in the first half as the Lions were able to only get in one shot during the first four minutes. While that defense held, the Warriors slowly created distance with well-timed layups maintaining the lead throughout the first half. Antonio Lewis and Tyras Rattler Jr. lead the charge for the Warrior’s offense as Lewis ended the first half with 9 points and 5 rebounds while Rattler Jr. had 8 points and 7 rebounds. While Lewis and Rattler Jr. were pounding away, Keith Phillips’ influence was appreciated in the Warriors’ defense as he kept the Lion’s from going to the post on multiple occasions grabbing 4 boards and 4 points.

The second half was a continuation of strong defense on both sides; however, the Warriors were persistent. The Warriors edged the lead to an 18 point differential with 16 minutes left on the clock. Jessup was able to enjoy the cushion in their lead for the remainder of the game and finished with a 24-point differential. Phillips, who was fairly quiet on offense in the first half, exploded in the points column as he ended his night with 29. His driving force, along with three other Warriors who earned double digits, gave the Warriors the win, 88-64.

Phillips led the trio of double-doubles with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while Rattler Jr. had 18 points and 11 boards and Lewis recorded 13 points and the same 11 rebounds. Also in double-digits was Isaiah Milan with 15, while Darrell Polee had the game-high 7 assists.

“Keith, Tyras and Tone really dominated the glass tonight. We knew that the glass was the key. We had to limit their second-chance opportunities,” Von Vogt went on to say, “I also liked the leadership we got from our two point guards Darrell and Zay. Finally, Tate’s toughness off the bench was critical so we could get our starters some solid rest.”

Next Up…

The Warriors return to the Arena on Saturday, January 12th, at 3:00 PM as they face off against San Diego Christian College.

“The GSAC has already had 7 of our 10 teams nationally ranked this season. It’s loaded every night you have to bring your best to be successful,” Von Vogt concluded. “We are going to have to tap that chamber of the heart every time out so that we can continue to build on this victory.”