Clinton Tremelling's three-pointer forced overtime and the Warriors controlled the extra period as the No. 7 seed Cal State Stanislaus beat No. 2 Seattle Pacific, 80-72, in a NCAA Championship West Region game on Friday.
The Warriors, down by as many as 18 points in the first half, now advance to face Cal Poly Pomona in the regional semifinal game today. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. at Coussoulis Arena on the campus of Cal State San Bernardino.
Cal State Stanislaus notched its school-best 22nd victory of the season and improved to 22-8 overall. SPU, which was playing in its 10th straight NCAA tournament, ends its season at 26-6.
In overtime, Stanislaus used an 11-1 run to put-away the Falcons, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference champions.
Marcus Bell led the Warriors with another postseason double-double. He scored 17 points and 13 rebounds. Taylor Bell picked a great time for a career game with 18 points — including four three-pointers to out-duel SPU's highly regarded three-point shooting team.
Chris Read, who played with foul trouble in the second half and beyond, nailed some big shots and finished with 15 points. Rob Walters grabbed nine rebounds and scored nine points, and more importantly held Patrick Simon scoreless when he was guarding him.
"I took it serious and didn't want him to score at all, he scored on someone else" Walters said. "I take defense seriously. I like guarding the other people's best player. I hate it when people score on me. I just tried to be physical with him."
Walters' nine rebounds and Marcus Bell's 13, plus Taylor Bell's career-high seven rebounds helped the Warriors dominate the glass. Stanislaus out-rebounded SPU, 44-29.
Taylor Bell, who was 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, out-shot the SPU sharp-shooters. David Downs, the West Region player of the year and who averages 42.4 percent from three-point-land for the year, led the team with 27 points but was just 3-for-6 from downtown.
Simon, the nation's leader in three-pointers at 51 percent, was held to just two points after starting the night 0-for-6 from the floor and 0-for-3 from three's.
The offense couldn't get going early while SPU's shooting nailed five of their first six long shot to build a lead as large as 30-12 with 8:10 to play in the first half.
"We knew they were good shooters and they came out and proved that right there (in the first half)," Head coach Larry Reynolds said. "They played really well, they put a clinic on us in the first half."
Tremelling didn't let that lead get any larger as he started an 11-1 run with a trey to cut that deficit down to eight, 31-23 with 2:39 left to play in the first half.
Taylor Bell's moment came in the second half with back to back three-pointers to pull the team within two at 47-45 with 11:21 to play.
Walters would give Stanislaus its first lead of the game just inside the 2-minute mark on a jumper, but the Falcons ran-off five straight points until the Warriors' final run capped by Tremelling's game-tying three-pointer that sent the game into overtime.
"I thought in the second half our pressure got to them a little bit and the game sped up for us and slow down for them," Reynolds added. "And the key was our defense. We didn't give up a hold lot of easy points (as we stepped up) our defensive intensity. (The Falcons) were missing shot and we were rebounding."
Defensively for the Warriors, they held the prolific shooting SPU team to just 33.3 percent shooting in the second half and 28.6 percent in overtime. The Falcons shot 53.8 percent in the first half (against CSUS' 32.3) but only had a 12-point lead to show for.
For Reynolds, who coached five years at CSU San Bernardino, it was his 65th victory inside Coussoulis Arena.
"I had a lot of fond memories of this place and I feel really comfortable here, but again I am just trying to win games now and we can think about this beautiful things later," Reynolds said. "It's a great place to place and a great atmosphere and I am just happy to be here."