COSTA MESA, Calif. – After a long, two week break for the holidays, the Lions (10-3) showed some signs of rust as they ultimately fell 76-68 against the MacEwan University Griffins (3-7). This marks the third straight loss for the Blue and Gold after kicking off the year on a torrid start. The Griffins jumped out to a quick 19-9 lead and the Pride could never completely close the gap. Each time they made a run to get back into it, MacEwan would hit a dagger from the field and stop the potential swing in momentum.
The game could be defined by one simple word – shooting. The Griffins were able to capitalize on almost 50% of their attempts including 12 made shots from behind the arc. Vanguard only converted at a 36% rate, which showed on the scoreboard. The Blue and Gold scored nine less points from three-point range, a key statistic in the eight-point defeat.
Brandon Brothers (SO/Pasadena, CA), who was hot from behind the arc in the first half, ended with a game high 21 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Malachi Hoosein (JR/Norwalk, CA) was the only other Lion in double figures as he shot 3-7 from distance to end with 12 points. Jamaal Lee (JR/Long Beach, CA) snatched a contest high 10 rebounds. Brothers and Lee tallied four of the team eight steals, while the Griffins squad recorded five total. MacEwan put four players into double-figures highlighted by 17 points and nine boards from Denzel James.
The Lions will be right back on the court, exactly 24 hours later, as they play their second and final game of the 2016 Bill Reynolds Holiday Classic. Coach Reynolds was the legendary coach at Southern California College (now VU) who guided the men's team from 1981-98 and finished with a record of 353-186. Ten times his squads won 20+ games and he only posted two losing seasons for the Blue and Gold. The Vanguard court has been named after Bill and his wife Shirley.
Next Game: December 31st against Saskatchewan at 4:00 p.m.