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UCSD Advances to West Regional Championship With Buzzer-Beater Win vs. California Baptist

03/14/2016, 9:45am PDT

From the UCSD Website, link to original article -

MONMOUTH, Ore. - Adam Klie banked in a runner with 0.2 seconds on the clock to lift the 21st-ranked UC San Diego men's basketball team to a 71-69 victory against No. 14 California Baptist in a NCAA Division 2 West Regional semifinal Saturday at the New PE Building on the campus of Western Oregon University.

The win sends second-seeded UCSD (24-7) to the Sweet Sixteen and Monday's regional championship game against third-ranked and top-seeded Western Oregon (29-3).

CBU's season came to an end at 28-7.

With 12 seconds remaining, California Baptist's Gelaun Wheelwright netted a deep three pointer to tie the game at 69-69. Klie inbounded the ball to George Buaku, who gave it right back to Klie. The junior guard went coast-to-coast, driving down the right side of the paint with a defender on him to push a shot off the glass and in, beating the buzzer and sealing the victory.

Grant Jackson led the Tritons in scoring and rebounding with 20 points and eight boards. The sophomore guard had 14 of his points in the second half. Klie finished with 18 points and was 7-of-8 from the field. Senior forward Drew Dyer also totaled 18 points.

The last-second winner wasn't the only special bucket Klie made Saturday. A layup with 27 seconds left in the game gave the Anchorage, Alaska, product 1,000 points for his career. He is the 14th Triton all-time and fifth in UC San Diego's Division 2 history to do so. Klie joins Dyer as the second UCSD player to hit the mark this season.

UC San Diego shot 50 percent (27-54), the 16th time this season the team hit at 50 percent or better.

Wheelwright led all players with 30 points, 24 of those coming in the second frame. Michael Smith had 18 points and Kalidou Diouf added 12 to go along with a game-high nine rebounds.

The Lancers shot 39.3 percent (22-56) for the game.

California Baptist led by eight points mid-way through the first half after two Wheelwright free throws made the score 19-11. The Tritons chipped away and with 2:07 left until the break, Klie made a layup to put his team on top, 29-28. UCSD led 32-31 at halftime.

Back-to-back threes by Buaku and Jackson had UC San Diego leading by 15 points, 52-37, with 12:33 left in the second half. However, the Lancers went on a 9-0 run, capped by four consecutive Wheelwright free throws, to get back within six, 52-46, at the 9:18 mark.

Trailing 60-51 with 7:26 left, CBU went on another run, this time for 13 points, and led by a score of 64-60 at 2:53. Wheelwright accounted for most of the damage, scoring 10 points during the spree.

An and-one from Dyer followed by a Jackson layup gave the lead back to the Tritons, 65-64, with just over two minutes remaining on the clock. The teams traded buckets and then Jackson sank a pair of free throws to give UCSD a 69-66 edge, setting up the dramatic finish to the night. 

It was the second win for UC San Diego against California Baptist this season. On Nov. 24 at RIMAC Arena in La Jolla, the Tritons defeated the Lancers, 76-67, when CBU was ranked fourth nationally and UCSD was receiving votes in the poll.

Western Oregon defeated Azusa Pacific, 81-69, in Saturday's second semifinal. UCSD and WOU meet for the West Region title on Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m. on Western's home court. The two squads have already played each other this season, with the Wolves taking a 67-63 win in La Jolla on Dec. 14. 

The winner of Monday's game advances to the Elite Eight, March 23-26 in Frisco, Texas.


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