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Men's Basketball: Lions wake up for win

Vanguard, off to its best start in recent memory, extends winning streak to six with tourney triumph.

December 27, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
  • Vanguard University's DeAngelo Jones lays the ball in during the first half against Bethesda in the Bill Reynolds Classic on Friday.
Vanguard University's DeAngelo Jones lays the… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

With nine days since their last game, members of the Vanguard University men's basketball team needed more than subtle reminders Friday about some of the of the fundamental aspects of execution, Coach Rhett Soliday said.

But in the first of two games in the four-team Bill Reynolds Holiday Classic against Bethesda University, the Lions showed their new-found muscle memory that relates to winning wasn't adversely affected by the break.

Vanguard overcame a bit of a sluggish start to record a 92-60 triumph over the Anaheim-based school that fell to 1-12.

It was the sixth straight win for Vanguard, which improved to 11-2 with two more games remaining before it opens Golden State Athletic Conference play at San Diego Christian on Jan. 14. The Lions' average margin of victory this season is 21 points.

The 11-2 record is the best start in as long as anyone currently associated with the program can remember and the Lions showed glimpses of why there is growing optimism about their chances to fare well in the rugged GSAC this season.

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"We definitely had some rust from the break," Soliday said of his squad, which opened one for five from the field and trailed, 17-16, just more than eight minutes into the contest.

But led by its prolific trio of starting guards — senior Preston Wynne and juniors Chris Gorman and DeAngelo Jones — the Lions used a 12-3 spurt that produced a 29-20 advantage and firmly established command with 8:54 left in the opening half.

Jones, in his first season after transferring from Spokane Community College, which also sent Wynne to the Lions last season, had three three-pointers on his way to 17 first-half points. He was five for six from the field and three for four from three-point range to help give the hosts a 47-33 halftime advantage.

Wynne also drained three three-pointers on his way to 15 first-half points, while Gorman scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime.

Jones finished with 21 points and made seven of 10 shots from the field. He was also four for four from the foul line, while contributing seven rebounds, four assists and one steal.

Wynne finished with 17 points to go with four assists and one steal, while Gorman wound up with four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

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