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Lions overcome woes

BASKETBALL: Heenan scores 21 to lead Vanguard, which rallies from 11-point deficit to grab momentum and beat Cal Poly Pomona.

November 21, 2007

Less than two minutes into the second half, the Vanguard University men’s basketball team trailed by 11 to visiting Cal Poly Pomona Tuesday night.

Lions Coach Fred Litzenberger said he just kept telling his team, “Don’t stop playing.”

The simple words meant he did not want his players to stop giving their best effort, or to give up. They didn’t and their second-half performance resulted in a 64-60 nonconference victory. Dennis Heenan, a Newport Harbor High product, led the Lions (2-1) with 21 points.

After trailing, 39-28, with 18 minutes, 16 seconds left, Vanguard used a 14-2 run to swing the momentum. The Lions ended up outscoring the Broncos, 40-27 in the second half.

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“I was so proud of our kids. We got down and we didn’t stop playing,” Litzenberger said. “We kept hanging in there. We kept playing defense. Good things started happening for us. Every single player that we had in there did a great job.”

Litzenberger said he was particularly impressed with freshman Tony Trajceski, a reserve forward who grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, despite battling the flu.

“That was tremendous,” Litzenberger said.

Heenan, the 6-foot-6 sophomore guard, drained five of 10 three-pointers to give the Lions an outside threat. Sophomore guard Greg Scott added 13 points, senior forward Matt Davis came off the bench to contribute 12 points, while junior guard Andrew Ellis scored 10 points.

Angelo Tsagarakis also hit five three-pointers on nine attempts and finished with 21 points to lead Cal Poly Pomona (0-2).

The Lions trailed, 33-24, at the half after hitting eight of 27 from the field (29.6%), but they turned it on in the second half, sinking 14 of their 25 shots (56%).

Vanguard also outrebounded the Broncos, 35-28. The Lions bench outscored Cal Poly’s, 17-4.

Vanguard will play at Cal Baptist Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

— From staff reports

Nonconference

Vanguard 64, Cal Poly Pomona 60

CPP– Gordon 16, Booker 6, Daniels 6, Collins 7, Tsagarakis 21, Neveu 4.

3-pt. goals – Tsagarakis 5, Collins 1, Gordon 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals - None.

VU– Johnson 1, Vaitiekus 2, Ellis 10, Scott 13, Heenan 21, Trajceski 5, Davis 12.

3-pt. goals – Heenan 5, Ellis 2, Scott 1, Trajceski 1, Davis 1.

Fouled out – Trajceski.

Technicals - None.

Halftime – CPP, 33-24.


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