SAN FRANCISCO --- With a winning streak on the line, California Baptist University opened PacWest conference action with a battle against Academy of Art. The Lancers pushed through the second half to grab a 64-51 victory over the Urban Knights.
CBU continues its winning spree to improve to a 7-0 overall record—the Lancers started the 1975-76 season with a seven-game unbeaten streak—and opens PacWest play with a 1-0 start. The Urban Knights drop to 2-5 on the season and 1-1 in conference.
Ryan Berg led CBU with 17 points, shooting 3-for-10 from the field, but 9-for-10 from the line and 2-for-6 from the arc. Kevin Crabb finished the night with a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds and 12 points (3-for-5). Garrett Jefferson and Anthony Cosentino were on the brink of breaking into double figures with nine points each.
The Lancers opened with a 4-0 drive to try to set an early tone, but ArtU wasn’t about to let CBU take its trademark double-digit lead that early. Keeping on the Lancers’ tail, the Urban Knights never let the visitors grab more than a five-point lead.
For the first time in four games, CBU found itself trailing at one point in the contest, though not by much. The Urban Knights found some rhythm in a 6-0 run to take over the lead at 17-16 with 7:45 left in the half.
A battle commenced as each team tried to shake off the other in the remaining minutes of the half. Trailing by three with 21 seconds left before the break, Geoff McIntosh sank a shot from distance to tie the game at 29 going into halftime.
The Urban Knights grabbed their biggest lead of the night with six points after opening the half with an 8-2 drive to hold a 37-31 advantage with 17:13 remaining.
Chris Brown drove to the basket and glanced his shot off the glass to break the Urban Knights’ scoring streak.
Coming out of a media break and down by six points, Crabb grabbed a defensive board and shot a pass to Jefferson for an easy layup. The fast break play sparked something in the senior forward as he continued on to complete a 7-0 solo run to give the Lancers back the lead at 40-39 and 14:11 left to play.
The Urban Knights responded right back with a three, but Kyle Wong’s layup evened the score once more at 42. Ryan Berg’s three-point shot rounded the rim and fell through the hoop to change the game’s lead for the 10th time and extended the advantage with another shot from distance to put the Lancers in front, 48-42.
Cosentino scored a free shot from the line at 7:49, the first score since 10:52, keeping a 16-3 run alive.
After drawing a foul, Crabb finished both his shots from the line to give CBU its trademark double-digit lead at 53-43. Crabb scored three more points to put the Lancers up by their largest margin of the night with a 13-point advantage over the Urban Knights heading down the stretch.
ArtU found some momentum, however, reducing its deficit to six points at 57-51 with 2:51 left on the clock.
CBU went on to take back a double-digit lead and held on to claim the game 64-51 and keep its unbeaten streak alive.
The Lancers head to Holy Names Saturday for a 4:00 p.m. tipoff, looking to tie a program-best 8-0 start. CBU started the season 8-0 back in the 2008-09 season. The Lancers return home on Saturday, Dec. 14, as they host Fresno Pacific at 7:30 p.m.