Photo by Aaron Jaffe
OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Adam Eakles and Quincy Lawson each registered 12 points and the No. 15 Cal State San Marcos men's basketball team used a late 16-3 run in its 66-52 upset of No. 5 Westmont (Calif.) in the CSUSM Holiday Classic on Wednesday night at MiraCosta College.
After Westmont (9-2) cut a 12-point deficit to four with 7:42 remaining, the Cougars held the Warriors to just two field goals the rest of the way to secure CSUSM's (10-4) third win over a NAIA top-10 team this season.
"Westmont is a great team and program so I am really proud of the effort that our players gave tonight," said CSUSM head coach Jim Saia.
Eakles went 6-of-6 from the field and scored four baskets in a key first-half run that saw CSUSM jump up by as much as 10 in the opening frame.
A 3-pointer from Bryan Emanuel handed the Cougars a 44-32 lead with 13:51 remaining. However, WC answered with a 17-6 run to pull within 51-47.
Danny Redmon hit a pair of free throws and Jose Rivera followed with a 3-pointer from the right edge to put the Cougars back up by nine at the 6:08 mark.
Christopher Miller answered with a dunk, but Redmon picked the pocket of Jordan Sachs for an easy layup before Jacob Ranger drained a three from the corner to make it 63-50 with 2:57 left.
Emanuel forced a steal and converted the ensuing fast-break layup to make it 65-50 and Rivera added a free throw to make it 66-50 with 25 ticks left.
CSUSM held WC All-American Preston Branson to six points on 2-of-8 shooting. The Warriors went 1-of-16 from 3-point range.
To date, the Cougars are 4-1 against top-25 teams, having already downed No. 2 Oklahoma Baptist (Nov. 30, 75-65), No. 4 Robert Morris (Nov. 9, 91-75) and No. 13 Biola (Nov. 14, 85-78). Their lone loss came against No. 13 Westminster on Nov. 23 (61-85).
CSUSM faces the University of Nevada in an exhibition on Friday, Dec. 21 in Reno.