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Sensational Run For Saints Ends In Regional Final
Luke Chavez led Saint Martin's with 12 points in his final game. Photo courtesy Point Loma.
Luke Chavez led Saint Martin's with 12 points in his final game. Photo courtesy Point Loma.

Monday, March 18, 2019

SAN DIEGO – Saint Martin’s lived and died on the three-point shot all season. In the NCAA Division II West Regional final, the shots just wouldn’t fall.

The Saints shot just 20 percent from outside the arc and 34.5 percent from the field in a 60-54 loss to No. 1 seed and tournament host Point Loma in the championship game on Monday night at Golden Gymnasium.

While the Saints struggled to find their shooting touch, the homestanding Sea Lions performed well as they finished the night shooting 48.9 percent from the field. The inside game worked to Point Loma’s advantage, scoring 30 points in the paint while converting all seven Saint Martin’s turnovers into points.

Senior guard Luke Chavez led the Saints in his final game with 12 points. Senior guard BJ Standley and sophomore guard/forward each scored 10 points while senior forward Jordan Kitchen connected for nine points. Senior forward Rhett Baerlocher led the Saints on the boards with four rebounds.

Senior forward Daulton Hommes led Point Loma with 25 points as he made 10 of 15 from the field and 5 of 8 from three-point range. Ziggy Satterhwaite added 15 points as the two accounted for over half of the Sea Lions’ total points.

With the loss, Saint Martin’s ends its season with a 26-6 overall record. The GNAC regular-season champion, the Saints were the No. 3 seed in the West Regional. Point Loma improves to 29-4 and advances to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, which will take place Mar. 27-30 in Evansville, Indiana.

For his efforts in the tournament, Chavez was named to the All-Tournament Team along with Seattle Pacific’s Gavin Long.

While Saint Martin’s opened the game with a 5-0 lead, thanks to a quick Baerlocher jumper and a Kitchen three-pointer, the advantage proved short-lived. Hommes tied the game with a three-pointer at the 16:01 mark and then made it a 15-10 lead on Josh Rodriguez’s lay-in with 11:33 left in the half.

Chandler Redix tied the contest at 17-17 with a three-pointer with 6:51 to go, but the Sea Lions went on a 6-2 run that culminated on a Hommes lay-up with 3:49 left that made the lead 23-19. Point Loma closed the half on a 7-2 run and went into the locker room with a 30-24 lead.

Hommes provided the Sea Lions an eight-point advantage, 38-30, with his jumper at the quarter mark of the second half, but a three-pointer by Chavez and a free throw by Standley brought the Saints within 38-36 with 13:26 to go. The score was 40-38 when a trio of three-pointers by Hommes helped propel the Sea Lions to a 51-41 lead with 7:09 to go.

The Saints scored six unanswered points, culminating on Standley’s three-pointer with 4:40 left, to come within 51-48 with 4:40 left. But SMU went cold again, making just one field goal over the next three minutes as the Sea Lions made it a 56-48 lead on a pair of Sterling Somers free throws with 3:57 left.

Forced to foul for possessions in the final minute, Saint Martin’s had its chances with the Sea Lions missing the front end of a pair of one-and-one opportunities. The Saints couldn’t convert on their offensive end, however, never coming closer than four.

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