The Warriors beat Cal State L.A. for the first time in five meetings — thanks to their defense and the Golden Eagles' inability to make plays down the stretch.
Reggie Jones converted on two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to play to secure a narrow 56-55 upset win over Cal State L.A. Friday night at Fitzpatrick Arena. Good thing for his two free throws, too. Cal State L.A.'s Franklin Session drained a three-pointer from beyond half court at the final buzzer.
Jones finished with a team-high 14 points, none bigger than his final two free throws as he helped the team win its fifth conference game. Cal State Stanislaus is now 7-10 overall and 5-8 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Jones made a layup with 1:34 left to play to break the game's seventh tie to give CSUS a 54-52 lead. That was the last point of any kind for the next 91 seconds.
Cal State L.A. missed three free throws, including two front-ends of 1-and-1's, and two jumpers in the final minute and a half. With three ticks left, an open three-pointer by David Norris that rimmed out would have given L.A. the lead.
For the game, the Golden Eagles were a dismal 7-for-16 from the free throw line. The Warriors, on the other hand, were a perfect 11-for-11 until Dwight Jones missed one with 18 seconds left.
Cal State Stanislaus held the lead for most of the game in yet another low-scoring affair. The Warriors opened up an 8-point advantage on a Prince Abidoye three-pointer halfway through the first half before settling for a 23-22 halftime lead.
With the game tied, for the sixth time, at 37-37 with 10:28 to go in the second half, the Warriors used a 10-1 run capped by a Marcus Lever triple for a 47-38 lead.
Dwight Jones had 10 points and Abidoye finished with eight points to pace the Warriors.
The win was the Warriors' first over Cal State L.A. dating back to the middle of the 2008-09 season when Stanislaus edged L.A., 73-71. The Golden Eagles had also won eight of last nine meetings entering Friday.
Cal State L.A., which has now lost three straight, falls to 11-6 overall and 7-6 in the CCAA. The Golden Eagles were led by Session with 17 points and eight rebounds. Carl Hoffman added 12 and Bussey Ellis chipped in 10.
Today, the Warriors will challenge the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros, winners at Chico State, 76-66. Cal State Dominguez Hills brings its No. 4 national ranking and 16-1 overall, 12-1 CCAA records for a 7:30 p.m. showdown.