Basketball

University of California, Merced – Three From Men’s Basketball Garner Postseason Recognition

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Men’s Basketball – Mon, Apr. 26, 2021 at 6:30 PM

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Seniors Chiwike E’denchukwu and Jonah Cottrell were selected to the Phase Two All-Cal Pac Team, while Mason Westlake was named the California Pacific Conference Phase Two Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

This marks the second straight year E’denchukwu and Cottrell have earned postseason recognition. The pair are the ninth and tenth players in program history to earn accolades back-to-back seasons.

Overall, this is E’denchukwu’s third career postseason honor as he was named honorable mention last year as well as his sophomore year in 2017-18. 

E’denchukwu anchored the Bobcats to a perfect 9-0 record and a championship trophy with career-high’s across the board. The forward averaged just over 16 points, eight rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals per game. His scoring and rebounding efforts were good for second in the conference, while his 1.5 steals per game led all Cal Pac Phase Two players. Only four other Cal Pac players in the last ten years have posted a similar stat line in league play (16 PPG, 8 RPG, 2 APG, 1.5 SPG), with the most recent player being Embry-Riddle’s Nick Johnson in 2018-19. E’denchukwu also led all players with a .635 field goal percentage, the Cal Pac’s highest mark in the last three years. E’denchukwu scored in double figures and shot at least 50% from the field in all nine games. He also grabbed 10 or more rebounds in four games, giving him a league-best four double-double’s on the year. His most notable performance was a 26-point, 14 rebound effort against La Sierra on March 19. With that effort, he earned his first of three Cal Pac Player of the Week awards in 2021.

Cottrell was selected for his second All-Cal Pac honor after ranking top five in the conference in points per game (14.3/4th), field goal percentage (.463/3rd) and three-point field goal percentage (.401/3rd). His 14.3 PPG also marked a career-high and this was his third consecutive year upping his season scoring average. He scored at least 15 points in six of the nine games this year, including a career-high 25-point outing in the regular season finale at Pacific Union College on April 17. Furthermore, Cottrell was a perfect 19-19 from the charity stripe over the season. On top of his stellar scoring contributions, Cottrell was good for a career-high 2.3 assists per game and neared his career-high with just about two rebounds and a steal per game. On April 5, Cottrell was named the Cal Pac Player of the Week. 

Westlake adds his latest accolade to his resume that already includes a Cal Pac Freshman of the Year award and an All-Cal Pac Second Team honor. Both of his previous honors came in the 2018-19 campaign. 

Westlake, selected the Cal Pac Phase Two Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, put up a season-high 26 points in the championship game to garner the program’s first ever postseason hardware. His scoring output came while shooting 57% (8-14) from three-point land. Westlake also became the program’s all-time three-point field goals leader the same day he became a champion. Westlake broke Matt Laflin’s previous record and the new record holder now has 158 career triples heading into his senior season. Westlake’s eight triples tied both his career-high and the program’s single-game high. His scoring output was the highest of any Cal Pac player in a championship game since February 29, 2016. Over the course of the season, Westlake averaged a career-high 15.8 points per game. The average ranks third in the conference, sandwiched between E’denchukwu and Cottrell.

Follow @UCMercedMBB on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with everything UC Merced men’s basketball in the offseason.

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