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Hot shooting carries Merced College

Logan Wiens was anxious for the second half to begin.

The Merced College center drained a pair of 3s in the first three minutes of Wednesday night's game, then picked up two quick fouls and was forced to watch the rest of the half from the bench.

"I was a little frustrated," Wiens said. "I started hot and then got those two fouls.

"I wanted to get back out there."

Wiens made the most of his opportunity.

The freshman scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, helping Merced College to a 74-66 victory over West Hills.

"We played smart tonight and didn't take the quick shots," guard John Lowe said. "We made sure to make the extra pass and it got guys open looks."

The Blue Devils' bench turned the tide on West Hills (3-6 CVC, 8-18).

With Wiens and Erin Walker in foul trouble, West Hills built a 25-16 lead.

MC coach Bill Russell countered with a smaller lineup and the Blue Devils (2-7, 6-19) shot their way back into the game.

Adam Grubb (10 points), Lowe (15 points), Stephon Thomas and Andre Nichols combined for six of MC's season-high 13 3s in the last 10 minutes of the half to take a 34-32 lead into intermission.

West Hills kept itself in the game by getting to the free-throw line.

The Falcons made 27 of 35 free throws.

MC did a better job of keeping the Falcons off of the line in the second half and -- behind Wiens -- opened the second half with a 12-4 run.

West Hills got no closer than six the rest of the way.

"I thought it was real important that we were already there defensively in the second half," Russell said. "It kept them off of the free-throw line and allowed us to make a run."

Central Valley Conference



At Merced College

WEST HILLS -- Jeremy LaGarde 21, Josh Lopez 13, Alex Jaurqui 2, Jamal Ross 17, Robert Watsabaugh 3, JC Lugo 6, Brett Arce 4. Totals 19 27-35 66.

MERCED COLLEGE -- Andre Nichols 7, John Lowe 15, Adam Grubb 10, Erin Walker 6, Stephon Thomas 7, JerMichael Williams 3, Logan Wiens 25, Bryan Moore 1. Totals 22 17-28 74.

3-pointers: West Hills 1 (LaGarde), Merced College 13 (Nichols, Lowe 4, Thomas, Wiens 5, Grubb 2); Total Fouls: West Hills 22, Merced College 22; Fouls Outs: West Hills (Ross). Rebounds: West Hills 36 (Watsabaugh 8), Merced College 30 (Wiens 8); Steals: Merced College 11 (Wiens 3); Assists: Merced College 14 (owe 5).

Halftime Score: Merced College 34-32.

Records: West Hills 3-6 CVC, 8-18; Merced College 2-7 CVC, 6-19.