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.