CVV News l December 21, 2022
MERCED, Calif. – Mason Westlake became University of California, Merced men’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer and helped the Bobcats earn an 89-65 win over Pacific Union College on Tuesday night inside the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium.
Westlake entered the night needing just three points to break the program’s record, which was previously held by Aki Chambers for the last nine years. Chambers, a member of UC Merced’s first ever men’s basketball team, finished with 1,097 career points. Westlake broke the record after hitting his first two jump shots in the games first three minutes, including the record-breaking jumper from the baseline following a baseline out of bounds play. Westlake finished with 15 points on the night and will only add to his record as the year goes on which currently stands at 1,110 career points.
The Bobcats (8-4, 4-2) dominant win over Pacific Union keeps Westlake and company perfect on Hostetler Court through a record-setting seven home games to start the year. Head coach Kevin Pham’s squads 89 points marked their most points in a non overtime Cal Pac contest since March 18, 2021. UC Merced shot 53% (32-61) from the floor in Tuesday’s win, their second time shooting over 50% in the last three games. The Bobcats led by double figures in each half, but an early 20-3 run in the second half created the final separation.
Cameron Brown was the Bobcats leading scorer with a career-high 18 points while shooting 67% (6-9) from the field and 75% (3-4) from beyond the arc.
Kingsley Obiorah scored 16 points and also stuffed the stat sheet tying his career-high with 13 rebounds and dishing out a career-high five assists. Obiorah’s double-double marked his fifth of the campaign and eleventh of his career. His eleven career double-double’s ties Chambers for the second most double-doubles in program history. Obiorah also had a block and a steal.
Westlake tied his career-high with six assists, grabbed five rebounds, and had two steals in addition to his 15 points.
Chris Bramah pitched in 14 points and two steals and led all Bobcats with 31 minutes of action.
Josiah Ajiake added eight points, while Jaron Mertle and DeDrick Martin finished with seven points each.
Other individual notables include four assists from Tiler Fears and a block from Westlake.
The Bobcats got off to a great start and led for the final 16:33 of the first half in part due to a 12-0 run in which Obiorah and Brown had five points each.
The 12-0 run gave the Bobcats a 16-6 lead. UC Merced led by at least two possessions until PUC cut the deficit to three points at 34-31 with just under two minutes to go before intermission.
Westlake and Bramah had an answer, but PUC also scored on their final trips down the floor and banked in a triple just before the first half buzzer to make it a one score game at halftime with UC Merced leading 38-36.
PUC scored the first four points in the second half to take their first lead since the 6-4 mark in the first half. Shortly after, PUC led 43-40 before the Bobcats threw their consistent Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium second half knockout punch.
An Obiorah three-point play tied the game and started a 20-3 UC Merced run that saw the Bobcats grab a 62-45 advantage midway through the second half. Martin had seven points in the eight-minute stretch.
UC Merced kept their foot on the gas pedal and grew their lead to as many as 28 points, 85-57, after a Brown triple with three minutes showing on the game clock.
Overall, UC Merced shot 74% from the floor between the 18:40 mark and the 3:00 mark of the second half while outscoring the Pioneers 45-17.
UC Merced shot 47% (8-17) from three-point land and 71% (17-24) from the charity stripe over the duration of the game. Also of note, the Bobcats outrebounded the opponent 33-21 and forced 15 Pacific Union turnovers.
With the win, the Bobcats improved to 15-11 all-time against Pacific Union and have now won six straight home games against the opponent dating back to 2019.
Looking ahead, UC Merced plays on the road at Cal Maritime on Wednesday, December 28 at 7:30pm inside the PEAC Main Gym in Vallejo, Calif.
Robinson signs with Miami Heat
Fresno State’s Orlando Robinson is seeking to become the 32nd Bulldog to play in the NBA
By: Stephen Trembley / Director of Strategic Communications
Posted: June 30, 2022
Former Fresno State forward Orlando Robinson has signed with the Miami Heat and is expected to play in the NBA 2K23 NBA Summer League 2022 in Las Vegas in July.
Robinson is seeking to become the 32nd Bulldog to go on and play in the NBA.
Before the Summer League games in Vegas, Robinson could make his debut with the Heat in San Francisco with Miami playing in the fourth-annual California Classic at the Chase Center on July 2-3 against the Los Angeles Lakers (July 2 at 2 p.m. PT) and Sacramento Kings (July 3 at 2 p.m. PT).
- Orlando Robinson is one of two players in NCAA history with at least 700 points, 300 rebounds and 100 assists in a season. During the 2021-22 season, Robinson had 700 points, 301 rebounds and 103 assists. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky had 732 points, 320 rebounds and 103 assists in 2014-15.
- As a junior this past season, Robinson averaged 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs, who went 23-13 overall while winning The Basketball Classic, presented by ERACISM and the 2021 Venue Twin Southern California Challenge. Robinson was named the MVP for both tournaments.
- Robinson finished sixth nationally in the 2022 kenpom.com Player of the Year Standings (1.341 kPOY rating) with the second-most game MVPs (21), per kenpom.com.
- Robinson earned 2021-22 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America honors and was a 2021-22 Lefty Driesell Award finalist, which is presented annually to the top defensive player in Division I basketball.
- Robinson was on two midseason National Player of the Year Watch Lists.
- Robinson also earned first-team All-Mountain West and NABC All-District honors in 2022.