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Men's Basketball - Mon, Jan. 23, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Daniel Young (left) and Josh Smith (right) missed just two shots all night, including free throws (Original photos by Liza Ro
Daniel Young (left) and Josh Smith (right) missed just two shots all night, including free throws (Original photos by Liza Ro
Shepherd University
(RV)Hope International

FULLERTON, CA – (RV) Hope International hosted its final non-conference tilt of the 2016-17 regular season on January 23 at 6:30 pm against the Shepherd (CA) Thundering Herd. HIU had already won the previous two meetings against Shepherd by double digits in each and the last meeting proved no different for the Royals.

HIU cracked triple digits against the Herd for the first time this season with a 101-59 win in regulation – the 52-point win was the Royals' second-largest margin of victory against the Herd this season. Josh Smith led the Royals with a career-high 28 points on 13-14 shooting (93%) from the field in just 22 minutes off the bench. Perhaps more impressively, Daniel Young finished with a double-double (13 points, 13 boards) and was perfect on the night, shooting 4-4 from the field, 5-5 from the foul line, and deal four assists without a turnover in addition to his two blocks and a steal.

HIU got off to a hot start in the opening four minutes with a 10-2 lead after a tip-in bucket from Kyle Hoag – Hoag went on a personal run of six straight to put HIU out in front at the start. The Herd hit a pair of threes to pull within one, 12-11, with 14:13 remaining, but Isaac Douglass splashed home two treys of his own set up by Donny Punter on the break to push the tally out to 32-17 with nine minutes left in the half.

HIU traded buckets with Shepherd down the stretch and lead by 20 at the break, 53-33. Young and Smith combined for a perfect 9-9 from the field in the half and were a collective 4-5 from the free throw line at the break for 22 of the Royals' first-half points.

The Royals dialed up their defense in the second half and held the Herd without a three-pointer in the final 20 minutes while limiting Shepherd to just 31% shooting from the field. Smith and Young picked up where they left off, combining for 19 points on 8-9 shooting from the field and 3-3 from the foul line.

The Royals went 12-deep against Shepherd as everyone cycled into the game off the bench – Noah Daniels made his collegiate debut against the Thundering Herd, Landon Branson went 2-3 from the field with three rebounds, and Ryan White shot 100% from the field with a layup and a rebound. Shepherd played shorthanded against HIU with only seven men available for the game.

"Noah getting the opportunity [to play] after all his hard work was great, fun to see, because he's worked really hard to get on the court," Coach Bill Czech said after the game. "We're coming off a tough battle with Vanguard the other night but we were able to get the ball inside a lot tonight so that allowed us to score, open some other things up and get the win," Czech concluded in his post-game comments.

The Royals are now 16-5 overall and will ready themselves to host No. 5 Westmont on Saturday at 7:30 pm in the Darling Pavilion – be sure to show up and support HIU against a tough Warriors squad that edged HIU 67-64 in Santa Barbara earlier this season.

M - Basketball
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