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Caldwell Cougars Lose to Argonauts in California, 69-62

Matt McLagan

Saturday, November 30, 2013 • 1:11am

BELMONT, CA - The Caldwell College men’s basketball team opened play at the Notre Dame de Namur Tournament with a 69-62 loss to the host Argonauts Friday night at Walter Gleason Gym. The result drops the Cougars to 4-3 on the season, while Notre Dame de Namur improves to 1-4.

First Half
In the first half, Caldwell used a 13-3 run buoyed by eight points from junior guard Salvatore Vitello (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) to take a 26-18 lead with 3:24 on the clock. Five points from Steven Plantenburg helped the Argonauts cut the deficit to five, 30-25 at the break. 

Second Half
After NDNU scored the first six points of the second half to take a 31-30 advantage, the lead changed hands nine times over the next nine possessions, with Caldwell leading 41-39 with 15:14 remaining. The Cougars pushed the lead up to five points following a three-point play by sophomore forward Vin O’Beirne (Wood-Ridge, NJ / Wood-Ridge) that made the score 44-39 with 13:50 to play. The lead remained at five, 48-43 after two Vitello free throws, until the Argos battled back to tie the score at 51-51 at the 9:26 mark. 

Caldwell regained the lead on the next possession, with sophomore forward Billy McDonald (North Haven, CT / North Haven) making two free throws. From that point, NDNU reeled off 12 straight points, holding the Cougars scoreless for the next seven minutes to lead 63-53 with less than two minutes to play.

Junior guard Wyatt Polk (Haddonfield, NJ / Haddonfield) broke the scoring drought with a conventional three-point play that cut the deficit to 63-56 with 1:39 left. A lay-up by junior guard Kevin Walker (Bayonne, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) made it a five-point game with 28 seconds on the clock. But Caldwell was unable to get any closer, as the Argos hit six free throws down the stretch to wrap up the win.

Game Highlights
  • McDonald led the Cougars with 23 points, matching his career high while shooting 9-of-12 from the floor
  • Vitello finished with 10 points
  • Polk added nine points and six rebounds
  • Don Washington paced the hosts with 16 points and nine rebounds in the win
  • Caldwell shot 50 percent from the field for the game, but surrendered 17 points on 15 turnovers

Upcoming Game
The Cougars will face Holy Names University on the second day of the Notre Dame de Namur Tournament Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

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