Coyotes move on to semis

first_imgBut Cal State made just enough plays down the stretch to narrowly avoid the upset, escaping with a 71-68 victory in the first round on Friday. “They did a tremendous job the whole game,” Cal State coach Jeff Oliver said. “I thought we played well defensively pretty much the entire game. … We’re very fortunate to have come out on top.” The Coyotes play Seattle University in the semifinals today. All-West Region guard Prentice Harris, who led the Coyotes with 18 points, hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition with 1:46 remaining to give the Coyotes a 69-67 lead they would never relinquish. “That was a big shot, but I was just lucky to be in that position,” Harris said. “CJ (Chet Johnson) got me the ball at the right moment.” It looked as if Harris may have shuffled his feet before the shot, but when Harris was questioned about the non-call, he charismatically said: “I plead the fifth.” Good enough. ARCATA – The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team survived a scare. The Coyotes, who many feel are the odds-on favorites to advance to the NCAA Division II West Regional championship game ran into a BYU-Hawaii team that had a different agenda. center_img Following Harris’ clutch shot, Hawaii – which shot 62 percent from the field – had its 58.3 percent free-throw shooting and turnover-prone offense catch up with them. Wu Tai-hao missed two consecutive free throws with an opportunity to tie or take back the lead. Still, Hawaii had possession with 18 seconds remaining, the shot clock turned off, and trailing by one. BYU-Hawaii got only a desperation 3-point attempt as time ran out. “I tried to call a timeout before that turnover,” BYU-Hawaii head coach Ken Wagner said. “Unfortunately they couldn’t hear me. But you can always look back after a game and find five or six things (you’d like to change).” In the end, it was simply Cal State’s superior athleticism, namely Harris and Ivan Johnson, who scored 16 points and had five rebounds. “Our ball pressure created some turnovers and our execution was better down the stretch,” Oliver said. For BYU-Hawaii, Eric Boyce finished with four 3-pointers among his 18 points; Tai-hao and Lucas Alves each had 13. “If anybody thought they were going to come in here and have an easy game, they were sorely mistaken,” Oliver said. “Everyone is here for a reason.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more