The Warriors only had four offensive rebounds all night, but the fourth one proved to be huge as Cal State Stanislaus won a thriller over Chico State, 79-77, in overtime Wednesday night at Fitzpatrick Arena.
Brett Sayad followed a Vince Fuller missed shot with 2.2 seconds left to play to break the 14th tie of an exciting California Collegiate Athletic Association contest as the Warriors improved to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Cal State Stanislaus starts the year 5-1 for the first time since joining the CCAA in 1998.
Reggie Jones, arguably the best player in the conference, scored 25 points to lead all players. He also grabbed seven rebounds with three assists and a blocked shot before fouling out with 2:09 left to play in overtime.
Fuller scored 14 points including a key three-pointer, his only of the game, at 1:32 left in OT to give the Warriors a 76-75 lead. Dan Daviess then hit the front-end of a 1-and-1 for a 77-75 score until Chico's Amir Carraway tied the game for the 14th time with 24 ticks left.
On the ensuing possession, after a Stanislaus timeout, the play call worked itself out perfectly. Fuller drove to the hoop for a layup, but came up short. However, Sayad was there for his team-leading ninth rebound for the put-back with 2.2 seconds left.
The Warriors were out-rebounded 42-35 overall, but was out-matched 14-4 on the offensive boards. Sayad had two O-boards, but none bigger than his final rebound.
Head coach Larry Reynolds was obviously pleased with the performance but also knows it is early in the season.
"(The win) means we are 2-1 in conference heading into another tough road trip next week," Reynolds said.
The Warriors will be on the dreaded Sonoma State-Humboldt State road trip up north next Saturday and Monday after finals week.
At the end of regulation, after Jordan Semple converted on a three-point play to give Chico State a 66-65 lead with 22 seconds left, Jones nailed two free throws to put CSUS back up by one. Wildcat Damario Sims, however, hit a free throw with seven seconds left to send the game into overtime.
No one led by more than six points in the game with Chico State up 55-49 with 9:46 to go in the second half.
With the Stanislaus offense seemingly quite, Daviess nailed a three-pointer at 2:11 to give the home team a two-point lead to spark the Warriors late.
Daviess and Donald Gaines both finished with 11 points to pace the Warriors. Cal State Stanislaus shot an amazing 87.1 percent from the free throw line hitting 27 of 31 tries.
Chico State (5-2 overall, 1-2 CCAA) was led by Carraway with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Semple finished with 11 points and 10 boards. Sims ended up with 12 points.