Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stanislaus rally falls short, Chico escapes

CHICO — Despite trailing by as many as 15 points and down by nine with less than two minutes left to play, the Cal State Stanislaus men's basketball team still had a chance to win at the buzzer at Chico State Wednesday night.

A Marcus Lever last chance 22-feet attempt hit the back of the rim as the Warriors' resilient comeback fell just short as Chico State escaped with a 61-59 win in Acker Gym.

Reggie Jones once again led the Warriors with 18 points as Cal State Stanislaus falls to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Dan Daviess, who hit two three-pointers in the final minute, finished with 11 points. Mactar Gueye grabbed seven rebounds.

Terrence Pullum led the Wildcats with 13 points as Chico State luckily improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

Trailed by nine with less than two minutes left to play, the Warriors stayed tough and capitalized on the Wildcats' inability to put the game away to create the dramatic finish.

Daviess made two free throws, then Brett Sayad put back a Lever missed three-pointer to make it 56-51 with 61 seconds left to play. After a Chico free throw, Daviess banked in a fade-away three-pointer to get within three with 34 seconds left.

After a pair of free throws by Chico's Sean Park, the Warriors foul to extend the game. Jay Flores made just one free throw to make it a two possession, six-point difference.

Jones then hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to again pull the Warriors within three. On the ensuing Wildcats possession, Roderick Hawkins threw the in-bounds play away. A foul sent Lever to the line and the sophomore guard made both freebies to pull the team within one at 60-59.

Again, the Warriors foul, and Damario Sims made his second of two free throws with four ticks remaining to give Stanislaus the final chance with the Lever heave at the buzzer.

Cal State Stanislaus nearly recovered from another bad first half, shooting just 17.2 percent on 5-of-29 shooting. Chico State wasn't much better (5-for-19) but made 15 free throws for a 28-15 first half lead.

For the game, Chico finished with a 39.5 shooting percentage as the Warriors defense again held their opponent to under 42 percent.

Evan Scott finished with nine points and Lever chipped in seven for the Warriors. CSUS next take on Division I Pacific in Stockton on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

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