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.