UAV lets one get away

LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley men’s basketball fell short of a comeback on Friday, losing to the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, 79-78, on Day 2 of the New Year’s Classic at the Pioneer Event Center.

Pioneers sophomore guard Miles Nolen-Webb and senior guard Franky Teran each had a team-high 21 points, while the Wolfpack’s Luke Morris scored a game-high 23.

Down six entering the second half, UAV gave up a 10-2 run to TRU in the first three minutes and trailed 52-38. But the Pioneers went on a 16-8 run to cut their deficit to six with 10:39 minutes to go in the game.

UAV trailed 61-58 after freshman guard Steve Bush stole the ball and made a layup in transition. On the next Pioneers possession, Bush was called for an offensive foul, which led to a 3-pointer by Morris.

After Morris scored again, the Pioneers trailed 66-58. But UAV stormed back with an 8-0 run to tie the game at 66 with 3:59 left in the game.

The two teams exchanged baskets and free throws until the final seconds of the game. With the Pioneers down by three, without timeouts and less than five seconds to play, Nolen-Webb drove the lane and made a layup with 0.9 seconds left.

But that play wasn’t what UAV wanted in that situation, Nolen-Webb said.

“We wanted a 3, but it just happened so quick,” Nolen-Webb said. “I take that on me…I just wasn’t really thinking. I don’t know.”

Pioneers head coach B.J. Porter declined to comment on the play, but said the last sequence was not to blame for UAV’s loss.

The Wolfpack had the size advantage over UAV, and frequently took advantage of that mismatch with offensive rebounds and points in the paint. Despite that, the Pioneers hung tough and even outscored TRU in the second half, 42-37.

Porter said it was the first half that buried his team.

“We didn’t match their physicality in the first half,” Porter said.

The Pioneers got open looks at 3-pointers with ball movement to start the game, making three from beyond the arc to take an early 13-4 lead.

But the Wolfpack’s size started to show. TRU started rebounding its own misses and getting easy points in the paint, and cut its deficit to only three with about 10 minutes to play in the half.

The Wolfpack took its first lead at 25-24 with eight minutes to play in the first half. Pioneers guard Miles Nolen-Webb gave UAV the lead back with a fade-away jumper from the left baseline, but TRU tied the score at 30 with under five minutes to play in the half.

Thompson Rivers player Derek Rhodes then completed a four-point play on the Wolfpack’s next possession, and took a 34-30 lead with 3:56 left in the half.

UAV took timeout down six with 1:55 left in the half. The Pioneers made a small run, but Morris sank a 3-pointer before the buzzer to take a 42-36 lead at the half.

The Pioneers play a road game on Monday against Utah Valley.

Mount Marty 111, West Coast Baptist 91

The Mount Marty Lancers made 22 3-pointers en route to a 111-91 win over the West Coast Baptist Eagles in the first game of the night.

Lancers player O.J. Thok led the team in scoring with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 8-of-11 from the 3-point line.

Eagles player Daniel Foster had a game-high 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting, while All Woodson added 18 and Levi Tyrrell had 16.

The Lancers outscored the Eagles 66-39 from the 3-point line. Lancers players Hunter Martin and Zach Telles each made four shots from beyond the arc, and Patrick Ciganovic made three from that distance.

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UAV uses the power of threes

LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley men’s basketball team showed its 3-point-shooting prowess in its 90-71 win Thursday over the Mount Marty Lancers on Day 1 of the New Year’s Classic at the Pioneer Event Center.

Pioneers senior guard Franky Teran had a game-high 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point territory. Four other UAV players scored in double figures, and five players made at least one 3-pointer.

UAV shot a scorching 52.6% from 3-point range on 10-of-19 from that distance.

“We share the ball,” Pioneers head coach B.J. Porter said. “And we know that if you share the ball and you get over there and it’s a mismatch and you share it, then you’re gonna get open shots. Luckily, sometimes they’re 3s. We’re doing a good job right now of knocking them down.

UAV leads the California Pacific Conference in made 3-pointers at 10 per game.

Teran drilled three 3-pointers and had 13 of UAV’s first 17 points, leading to a quick 22-7 lead over the Lancers. UAV forced a second Lancers timeout after sophomore forward Jacob Bowman made a free-throw-line jumper to put the Pioneers up 37-15 with 4:02 left in the first half.

Teran said the key to UAV’s quick start was its defense leading to running in transition.

“That’s what got us the momentum,” Teran said.

The Lancers pulled to within 16 to close the half, but only shot 33.3% from the field. The Pioneers shot 54.8% in the first half.

UAV started second half by forcing a 24-second violation.

Lancers freshman guard Shaye Bolch banked in a shot to cut UAV’s deficit to 12 with less than 14 minutes left in the game. But Teran answered with back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Pioneers a 59-41 lead.

“I think just my teammates getting me open,” Teran said of what worked well for him offensively. “Setting good screens for me and passing me the ball where it needs to be so I can be comfortable shooting it.”

Later in the second half, Pioneers freshman guard Steve Bush stole the ball and took it coast to coast for a dunk to give the Lancers a 63-44 lead, which forced a Lancers timeout. Mount Marty answered back with an 11-3 run, and trailed 66-55.

But the Pioneers pulled away again. Bush stole the ball and made a pull-up 3-pointer in transition, giving the Pioneers a 72-56 lead with just over six minutes left, and the Lancers never threatened again.

Lancers head coach Andrew Baker said his team didn’t defend the 3-point line “well enough.”

“They’re a good basketball team,” Baker said of UAV. “They’re playing really well right now.”

UAV plays Thompson Rivers today at 7 p.m.

Thompson Rivers 97, West Coast Baptist 94

The Thompson Rivers Wolfpack beat the West Coast Baptist Eagles in the first game of the night.

Volodymyr Iegorov led the Wolfpack with 23 points and six rebounds, while three other TRU players had 18 points apiece.

Daniel Foster had a game-high 30 points for the Eagles, while Imaan Vicente scored 23.

The Wolfpack led by eight with 12 minutes left in the second half, but the Eagles strung together three straight 3-pointers to take a 68-67 lead.

The Wolfpack answered with an 8-0 run to take a 75-68 lead, which extended to a 13-point lead with less than four minutes left.

The Eagles pulled to within four with 12.7 seconds left in the game, and made a 3-pointer as time expired.

West Coast Baptist plays Mount Marty at 5 p.m.

Spurs have no doubt in Dedmon

LOS ANGELES – Dewayne Dedmon, the Lancaster High School graduate and Antelope Valley College basketball player, didn’t start the sport until he was 18 because of religious reasons.

He went from Antelope Valley College to USC, and has played in the NBA since 2013. His journey to the NBA was short, shorter than those who played from the time they learned how to tie the laces on their high tops. But it doesn’t mean it was easy.

Few know how he’s adjusted to playing basketball at the highest level, and what it’s like for him to play with the likes of Pau Gasol and Tony Parker, two stars for the San Antonio Spurs, to which Dedmon signed a two-year contract in July.

“This is great,” Dedmon said while sitting at his locker after Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. “Not only are they great athletes (and) competitors, but they’re just great human beings – easy to talk to, get along with, joke.”

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Clippers make adjustments without Griffin

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Clippers played their second straight game without star forward Blake Griffin – who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday – against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Their first game was a 17-point drubbing of the Denver Nuggets, who sit at 12-17 after Tuesday’s loss. The Clippers had no problem without Griffin against Denver, but that could be a different story going forward.

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Pioneers win big

LANCASTER – The University of Antelope Valley men’s basketball team won on the first day of the UAV December Classic in an 85-65 rout of the Hastings Broncos on Monday at the Pioneer Events Center.

Pioneers senior guard Shane Shelton led the team with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. Four other UAV players scored in double figures.

“It was a team effort tonight,” UAV head coach BJ Porter said. “They came ready, they came focused.”

Hastings took an early 12-8 lead in the first half by converting in the paint and Jake Hansen making back-to-back 3-pointers. But UAV answered with a scoring barrage.

Pioneers junior guard Jonathan Parker made back-to-back 3-pointers and a layup to give UAV a 16-13 lead. Junior guard Steve Bush made a 3-pointer, and junior guard Marquis Rivera completed a three-point play to give UAV a 24-13 lead.

Shelton said the team’s energy was “a little bit down” to start the game, but the Pioneers responded on the defensive end of the floor.

“We picked up our intensity,” Shelton said. “We were really getting it done with team defense. When we play as a cohesive unit on defense, we make it really hard for the other team to score because we’re really athletic as a unit.”

UAV was in the middle of an 18-1 run when Hastings responded.

Trey Moore made a 3-pointer to get back within single digits at 29-20. The Broncos scored on their next possession, forcing UAV to take a timeout with a 29-22 lead and 7:28 to go in the first half.

The Pioneers blitzed Hastings out of the timeout with a 15-2 run, capped by Miles Nolen-Webb, who faked a pass and made a layup while getting fouled. His free throw gave the Pioneers a 44-24 lead.

The Broncos closed the half on a 6-0 run, and trailed 44-30. Hastings extended its run with seven straight points to open the second half, forcing UAV to take another timeout with a 44-37 lead.

“We just had kind of a mental lapse,” Shelton said about Hastings’ run. “That timeout really got us going again.”

The Pioneers went on a 6-1 run out of the timeout and took a 50-38 lead. But the Broncos answered and cut their deficit to only seven points.

But Shelton scored seven straight points, igniting the Pioneers to take a 59-46 lead. UAV’s extended 19-5 run gave it a 69-48 lead.

The Pioneers took their biggest lead at 80-51 after three free throws by Shelton.

UAV shot 50% for the game. Hastings shot only 42.6%. The Pioneers had 19 assists, while the Broncos only had 11.

UAV plays today at home against Life Pacific College in Day 2 of the UAV December Classic.