Gauchos welcome back an old friend…defense

Gauchos welcome back an old friend…defense

The Saddleback basketball team picked up a win on Wednesday night in the Saddleback gymnasium with a 70-55 victory over MiraCosta College.  The Gauchos held the Spartans to 29% shooting in the win.

Saddleback has long been one of the better defensive programs in the state, but heading into Wednesday night's game the Gauchos were uncharacteristically giving up 74.8 points-per-game through five outings.  Saddleback welcomed back its old friend on Wednesday by shutting down the MiraCosta offense.

Saddleback never trailed in the game, bolting out to a 10-0 lead in the opening four minutes of the contest.  The Gauchos would open up a 14-point lead at the 11:41 mark after a field goal from Captain Whitlock.  Things would settle down from that point forward as Saddleback carried a 37-27 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

The two teams came out cold in the second half, with neither team able to score a point over the first 2:30 of the period.  Saddleback increased the lead to 42-29 at the 16:39 mark when David Dial was fouled on a layup, converting the free throw for a three-point play.  Moments later the Gaucho fans were treated to a thunderous dunk from Deviian Williams (pictured) as Saddleback had a 46-34 lead with 14:50 remaining.  Saddleback would eventually open up a 19-point lead with under seven minutes left on the clock before calling off the dogs.

Dial would lead the Saddleback attack, finishing with a game-high 15 points.  Captain Whitlock finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and a game-high eight assists while Keegan Cummins had nine points and a game-high 13 rebounds. 

Saddleback shot 52% from the field despite making just 1-of-15 shots from three-point range.  The Gauchos had a big advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Spartans 46-33 while holding MiraCosta to four fast-break points for the game.  Saddleback's defense was particularly tough on the MiraCosta starters, holding them to 25% shooting for the game (7-of-28). 

Saddleback (3-3) will play again on Saturday when they take on College of the Canyons at 2:00 PM at The Master's University.