Van Nuys, Calif- University did not give any room for Grant to breathe in Wednesday night’s nonconference matchup at Van Nuys high school.
The Wildcats forced seven turnovers and used a 16-5 run in the third quarter to defeat Grant 68-56 in day two of the JFK Tournament.
Daisone Hughes led University with 23 points and David Cheatom had 14.
“We just came out of halftime and our coach told us to attack the basket,” Hughes said.
University (9-0) overcame nine missed free throws in the first half against Grant. Grant played aggressively in the first two quarters but University held the lead at halftime 29-25.
“Once we started to hit our free throws and started taking advantage of our opportunities, the game changed,” Hughes said.
Cheatom started to find his rhythm and scored six of his 14 points in the third quarter. After a steal, Cheatom hit a step back jumper and University led 50-34.
“It all started with the team playing hard on defense,” Cheatom said. “Not everything was falling but the defense opened it up for us to start our offense.”
Grant (3-14) was able to trim the deficit to 61-51 with 3:14 remaining in the game after a three-pointer by Erik Panosian. Despite the late surge, Grant was unable to recover from being down 16 points in the third quarter.
“Coming into the third quarter has been a problem all year and getting going after halftime,” coach Tarek Abdelsameia said. “Fourth quarter you saw that we can get hot and we can play with people. We just can’t sustain for a long period of time because of our youth and inexperience. It’s getting better though.”
Grant was led by Antonio Tidwell who had 13 points and Panosian added 11.
University will play Van Nuys tomorrow at 7 p.m. in day three of the JFK Tournament. Van Nuys has point guard Tyree Winborn who had 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists in his team’s win over Chatsworth.
Written by Ethan Hanson