LA JOLLA, Calif. - Christian Bayne drilled a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the second overtime period to lift the University of California San Diego men's basketball team to an 82-81 victory against Stanislaus State in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament quarterfinal Tuesday night at RIMAC Arena.
With UC San Diego down 81-79, Bayne came up with the rebound following a teammate's missed three, dribbled past a defender, and pulled up from the right side of the arc. Despite being fouled, his shot found nothing but net.
"I can't even explain what happened at the end," said Bayne, who played at Stanislaus State for two seasons before transferring to UCSD. "I just saw the ball pop out. I ran it down, took my shot, the whole team went crazy, I can't even explain. I'm just happy we won and we're on to the next one, that's what it's about."
With the victory, third-seeded UC San Diego (19-10) advances in the tourney and will face second-seeded Chico State (20-7) in a semifinal on Friday, March 2, at 2:35 p.m. at Cal Poly Pomona's Kellogg Arena. The Wildcats defeated Cal State San Bernardino, 84-63, Tuesday at home to earn their spot in the semis.
"We're excited to still be playing," said UCSD head coach Eric Olen. "We've been in a lot of close games this season and have been on the wrong end of some tough finishes. It's nice to have one go our way."
UCSD junior swingman Christian Oshita led all players with a career-high 29 points. He was 8-for-14 overall, 5-for-8 from behind the three-point line, and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Oshita also added a game-high 11 rebounds and four assists. It was his fifth double-double of the season and the eighth time he has totaled 20 or more points. Oshita has scored in double-digits in 27 of 29 games.
Bayne finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, and five steals. The junior guard, who entered the game ranked ninth in the country with his .910 free throw percentage, went 16-for-17 from the line. His 16 free throws made are the most since UC San Diego joined the NCAA Division II ranks for the 2000-01 season.
Senior guard Anthony Ballestero had nine points on three treys while dishing out four assists for the Tritons.
UC San Diego went 21-for-49 (.429) from the field, which included a hot first half in which the team made 11 of its 21 shots (.524). The Tritons hit six of 11 (.545) three-point attempts in the opening frame and finished 11-for-23 (.478). They were 29-for-31 (.935) from the free throw line. Uncharacteristically, they turned the ball over 20 times, a season-high.
The game featured 13 tie scores and 14 lead changes.
UCSD led for the entire first half after Bayne opened the scoring with a jumper. The Tritons' largest lead of the night was 11 when Oshita hit a three-pointer with 10:50 left in the first to put them up 20-9.
Down 35-33 at the 15:48 mark of the second half, Stanislaus State used a 9-0 run to take is first lead of the game. When it ended, the Warriors were ahead by seven, 42-35, their biggest advantage of the game.
The Tritons answered with a nine-point run of their own, which had them leading again, 44-42, with 9:13 remaining in regulation. Bayne had four points and Ballestero hit a trey during the span.
It stayed close from that point on, with neither team gaining more than a five-point lead for the rest of the half.
Tied 62-62 with 38 seconds left in regulation, Richard Medina put Stan State in front with two free throws. With 17 ticks left, Bayne went to the line and evened the score at 64-64. At the buzzer, Kaelen Mitchell got off a good-looking three that rattled the rim and came out, sending the game into overtime.
Stanislaus State struck first as Andy Cleaves hit a three just over a minute into the first extra period. UC San Diego scored the next five points on a Kenny Fraser layup and a Ballestero three, making it 69-67 in favor of the home team. Both sides traded free throws before two layups by Ty Davis gave the lead back to the Warriors, 73-71. With just five seconds left, Bayne was fouled and made good on a pair of freebies, tying it at 73-73. Once again, Stanislaus had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Vida Faniel's three-point attempt was cleanly blocked by Fraser, forcing a second overtime.
The Tritons' first six points of the final period came from free throws. With 1:16 remaining, Bayne made two to tie it at 79-79. A Davis layup with :51 left put the Warriors in front by two, 81-79. Bayne missed a jumper on UCSD's possession and Stan State then turned the ball over on an offensive foul. Emerging from a timeout, Triton forward Scott Everman had a great look at a deep three-pointer from the top of the arc with :09 on the clock. His shot circled the rim and the ball flew out to the right side, where one Triton and three Warriors couldn't get a handle on it. That's when it popped out to Bayne, who was already behind the three-point line. On the move, he corralled the ball, took two more strides forward, and let it rip.
"I got it out pretty clean and I was like, 'the arc looks good on it'," said Bayne. "'It just might be a little long', but it went in and I was like 'phew, sigh of relief."
"A lot of guys made big plays in regulation and overtime," said Olen. "Everyone will remember Christian's shot, but a lot of others gave us that opportunity."
Stan State's season came to a close at 17-12. Cleaves had a team-best 22 points, while Davis and Faniel each netted 15 points. The Warriors were 24-for-59 (.407) shooting.
It was the second overtime battle between UC San Diego and Stanislaus State this season. The Warriors defeated the Tritons, 76-66, on Jan. 18 at RIMAC Arena.
Friday's semifinal against Chico State will be the third meeting between the two rivals this season. The Tritons took a decisive, 73-50 victory in La Jolla on Jan. 6, while the Wildcats won, 66-56, in Chico on Feb. 15.
"Chico is a really good team," said Olen. "We expect them to play at a high level and we need to do the same to move on."
UC San Diego is looking for a third CCAA Tournament championship after winning the title in 2008 and 2017.
Top-seeded Cal Poly Pomona and fifth-seeded San Francisco State will meet in Friday's other semifinal, which tips at 12:05 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. on Saturday, March 3 at Kellogg Arena.