RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- Christmastime is here, and California Baptist University walked in a winter wonderland Thursday night.
Problem is, the Van Dyne Gym was cold like winter, but it was anything but a wonderland.
The Lancers shot a frigid 25 percent, its lowest mark of the season, scored a season-low 47 points and committed 24 turnovers in falling to Westmont, 60-47, in its final GSAC game of 2010.
It didn't matter if it was from 18 feet or eight inches, the Lancers, who are 19th in the NAIA in field goal percentage, couldn't make it. They connected on just 14 of their 56 attempts, and eight of those 14 makes came in the first half. They missed 23 of 28 shots in the second half. That's just 17.9 percent.
More than 20 turnovers and sub-30 percent shooting is usually a recipe for disaster, and indeed it was tonight. The Lancers (6-4, 1-3 GSAC) had their coldest shooting night in Tim Collins' nine years in Riverside and just two nights removed from a game where they attempted just one 3-pointer, the Lancers took 23 tonight, missing 17 of them.
Kevin Deeb (14 points) and Jerome Lowe (6 points) were the only Lancers to make more than two shots. The Lancers' leading scorer Brannon Bradley finished with just six points and was 2-for-5. Justus Von Wright finished with seven points and seven rebounds, but was just 1-for-10 from the field.
Deeb was 4-for-7 from downtown. The rest of the Lancers were 2-for-16. Take out his 5-for-9 from the field, and the rest of the Lancers were a combined 9-for-47. Even with that, the Lancers still out-rebounded the Warriors, 44-33.
Luke Evans, the Lancers' second-leading scorer who was coming off an 18-point night in Tuesday's win at Hope International, missed all six of his attempts. He did make 5-of-6 free throws to finish with five points.
Meanwhile, on the other end, Westmont's Preston Branson was a thorn in the Lancers' side all night, finishing with a game-high 20 points. Blake Bender added 15 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.
The Warriors (6-3, 1-2 GSAC) shot 46.9 percent from the floor but were just 3-for-10 from beyond the arc and 11-for-19 from the free throw line. They outscored the Lancers, 34-14, in the paint, including an 18-4 margin in the second half.
Westmont used a 10-1 flurry to close the first half turning a 28-27 deficit with 2:33 left into a 37-29 halftime advantage. The Warriors never trailed again.
The Lancers got within 43-37 on a Bradley free throw but then went scoreless for the next 4:36 until Deeb hit a long jumper with 8:48 left to get the Lancers within 47-39. Branson, though, made back-to-back layups to make it 51-39 with 7:38 to play, and then a Bender free throw gave the Warriors their largest lead, 56-41, with 3:41 to play.
The Lancers scored 10 of the game's first 12 points, five from Bradley, and then led 15-6 when Branson and Marlow Brooks buried consecutive treys to get Westmont within 15-14 with 11:36 to play. The Warriors grabbed their first lead, 21-20, on an offensive put-back by Bender with 5:25 left.
Jon Williams hit a 3-pointer to give the Lancers a 28-27 lead with 2:33 to play before Westmont went on its game-clinching run. The Lancers shot just 32.1 percent in the first half, and the Warriors compounded the cold shooting by out-scoring the Lancers, 12-0, on the break.