ROCKLIN, Calif. - Resuming conference play in their opening game of 2017, the sixth ranked Vanguard University Lions (13-1, 2-0) began the new year in style with a 62-47 victory over the William Jessup University Warriors (7-4, 1-2). This is the ninth consecutive victory for the Lions, who are primed to reach a double digit winning streak if this formidable form continues. The ever-impressive Claire Lamunu (SR/Kampala, Uganda) led in points for the Blue and Gold, with 21 on the night. It may be a new year, but it's the same Lamunu. The contest was big for the Lions as they wanted to grab this one for Walt Simon, the beloved former assistant coach of the junior and senior classes, who passed away suddenly this week.
Making the roughly 450-mile journey to Rocklin from Costa Mesa, the Pride meant business right from the start. A layup from Jamie Goff 30 seconds into the first period of play earned the Lions a lead that would last a total of 38 minutes and 35 seconds throughout the entire duration of the game. Equally as impressive, the Warriors wouldn't lead at any point in the game, only tying the game up on two occasions. The first period of play ended 19-13 in favor of the Blue and Gold.
Taking a six-point lead into the second period of play, the rate of scoring in the contest remained rather steady with 16 points for the Pride and 14 points for the Warriors. Of these 16 points, Tania Uluheua (JR/Auckland, New Zealand) contributed with six in addition to her one assist and three offensive rebounds. The first half of the contest ended 35-27 in favor of the Lions. The third period of play saw a nearly equal distribution of points, with 11 for the Blue and Gold and 10 for the Warriors. This made it clear that the home team would not go down without a fight, but it would do little for them as the period would end 46-37 for the Pride going into the fourth and final period of play. Lamunu certainly made her presence felt, contributing with six points, two offensive rebounds, one defensive rebound, and two steals.
The fourth and final period of play mirrored the first, with the Lions finishing the game just as effectively as they started it. The Blue and Gold outscored the Warriors 16-10, with an especially strong showing from Kandyce Smith (JR/Monrovia, CA). Smith put up 10 points on the night, with three points, two offensive rebounds, and three defensive rebounds in the fourth period. Although the likes of Lamunu and Smith are no strangers to the action, the Pride scored an impressive 26 points from the bench as opposed to William Jessup's 12.
Next Game: Saturday, January 7th at Menlo College at 2:00 p.m. (Game location changed to Foothill College)