Hope International University Header Image
Men's Basketball - Sat, Jan. 28, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Liam Hunt provided 20 and 12 for HIU against Westmont
Liam Hunt provided 20 and 12 for HIU against Westmont
(5)Westmont College
(RV)Hope International

FULLERTON, CA – Hope International hosted No. 5 Westmont on Saturday in the second-to-last game of a six-game home stand and came out on top with a strong push in the second half. Liam Hunt (JR/San Anselmo, CA) and Charles Trotter (SO/Slidell, LA) each had impressive performances for HIU in the win as HIU split the season series against Westmont with the victory.

The game was immediately a back-and forth battle from the tip to the halftime break – both teams put together good runs in the first half and traded counterpunches throughout. HIU grabbed a lead after a vicious dunk from Daniel Young (JR/Las Vegas, NV) but Westmont answered with a triple. HIU would fire back with a triple of its own and at the break, another dunk by Young was answered by another triple from Westmont giving the Warriors a 34-33 lead at the half.

The battle resumed after the intermission as Westmont pulled away by three early, but HIU rallied to tie it a moment later. The final tied score of the night came with just under 12 minutes in the half after a Westmont layup made it 47-all and the Royals pulled away for good after that. HIU maintained a six-point lead for the next four minutes, but a 7-2 mini-run from Westmont slashed the lead from 57-51 to 59-58.

The Royals never lost the lead, however, and Trotter was able to deliver a knockout punch with a four-point play set up by Donny Punter (JR/Long Island, NY) – Punter swung the ball in to the left corner for Trotter with 2:46 left and Trotter knocked down a triple while being fouled. Trotter hit the and-one to complete the rare four-point play and the Royals' defense held Westmont scoreless at the other end for a handful of consecutive possessions to stretch the lead. HIU was able make its foul shots down the stretch to seal the win – the 11-point difference at the end belies how close the game was.

Hunt led HIU with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Trotter was right on his heels with 19 points, five boards, and four assists. The Royals' defense made stops when it mattered most and hit 81% of their free throws in 26 attempts for the win while living in the paint – HIU scored 50 of its points in the painted area.

HIU improves to 17-5 overall with a 6-2 GSAC record midway through the conference schedule after winning five straight.  The Royals are tied for second in the GSAC standings with William Jessup a half-game back of Biola and will host Jessup this Thursday. Westmont falls to 6-3 in the GSAC and is 17-4 overall this season.

M - Basketball
Overall GSAC Streak
0-0 (.000) 0-0 (.000)