Tuesday night was no different as for the 54th consecutive time; the Lancers defeated the Royals, a team they have never lost to dating back to 1965. Tonight, the Lancers got a nice balanced effort with four in double figures and used a big first half run to take control before holding off a Royal rally in the final minutes for what turned out to be a frantic 82-74 win in the Van Dyne Gym.
"We are on a pretty impressive streak against these guys," said CBU Head Coach Tim Collins. "They've snuck up on almost everyone in this league and picked off big wins the past few years against teams like Point Loma and Biola, and we keep fighting it off every year. You could tell by the way they played they wanted this one. They played hard."
The Lancers improve to 12-10 overall, 6-7 GSAC and have won five of seven.
The Royals, who have already won more GSAC games this year (4) than the previous four years combined, have their first-ever two-game GSAC winning streak snapped. They fall to 13-10, 4-9.
Tonight, the wealth was spread around, though the Lancers still pounded the paint scoring 34 inside. And as an added bonus, Kevin Deeb got loose from beyond the arc. Deeb finished with 12 points, drilling a trio of 3-pointers. He had just 12 points in the last six games combined.
"I've been doing some extra shooting and putting extra work in, and it paid off tonight," said Deeb. "It was all about preparation for me. I did more things to get ready, and I knew what shots would be open tonight. It felt good."
Evans led the Lancers with 21 points, getting 11 from the line. After going scoreless at Biola Saturday, Justus Von Wright finished with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds. Ivan Patterson chipped in with 11 points. Bradley grabbed eight rebounds.
"We're a different team when everyone gets involved," said Collins. "We were difficult to defend tonight, because we moved the ball so well. We got a really good game from Luke. We went to him often and they struggled to defend him. We really wanted to pound the ball inside and take advantage."
Only five players scored for the Royals, four of them in double figures. Jeremy Kilgore (23 points) and Orland Collins (14 points) led the way. Kilgore fouled out with 2:40 left and the Lancers leading by eight (67-59).
After a tight first 12 minutes that had all eight of the game's lead changes, the Lancers broke a 16-16 tie with a 17-6 flurry. Seven different players scored in the run. Deeb hit a pair of treys, and the Lancers went 7-for-8 from the line. Bradley capped the run with a lay-up that gave the Lancers a 33-22 lead with 1:32 left.
Deeb's 3-pointer with three seconds left gave the Lancers a 36-27 halftime lead.
"I told him during shoot-around that he was going to have a big game tonight," said Collins. "I just had a feeling it was going to be a good night for him."
Though, the lead changed hands eight times, the Royals never led by more than a single point. Kilgore and Collins combined for 22 of the Royals' 27 first-half points. Once the Lancers took the lead for good, the Royals never got closer than four points when they got within 73-69 with one minute left in the game on a put-back by C.J. Harris.
Nick Paulson, who is among the conference leaders in free throw shooting, made one from the stripe with 56.1 seconds left to put the lead back up to five (74-69), and Evans came up with a steal on the ensuing possession then the Lancers made seven free throws in the final 55 seconds to put the game out of reach.
The Lancers shot 54.2 percent from the field and though they didn't take many, they shot a solid 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. Their 11 attempts are 10 more than the last time these two played when the Lancers took just one from beyond 22 feet. The Royals shot just 20 percent (3-for-15) from beyond the arc.
The Lancers shot just 59.5 percent from the line, but made 25 free throws while the Royals shot just 18.