Falcons Take Long Road To Comeback Win Over Chaminade
Long scored seven of the Falcons' final 17 points down the stretch as Seattle Pacific improved its win streak to 13 games. Photo courtesy Point Loma.
Long scored seven of the Falcons' final 17 points down the stretch as Seattle Pacific improved its win streak to 13 games. Photo courtesy Point Loma.

Friday, March 15, 2019

SAN DIEGO – The streak is still alive.

No. 2 seed Seattle Pacific rallied from a 13-point deficit over the final nine minutes as junior Gavin Long hit the game-winner with 1.6 seconds left as the Falcons edged past No. 7 seed Chaminade, 77-75, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA West Regional at Golden Gymnasium.

Long scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, finishing the afternoon shooting 7 of 14 from the field. He accounted for seven of the Falcons’ final 17 points in the contest to run Seattle Pacific’s win streak to 13 games.

Senior forward Coleman Wooten added a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds while senior guard Nikhil Lizotte added 19 points on 6 of 10 from the field and 4 of 8 from three-point range.

With the win, the Falcons (22-6) will pair for a rematch with No. 3 seed Saint Martin’s in the regional semifinals on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Saints advanced with a 63-60 win over No. 6 Concordia Irvine. The Saints and Falcons split the season series during the regular season.

Chaminade’s Grant Dressler led all scorers with 26 points, connecting on 9 of 20 from the field and 5 of 9 from three-point range to go with five rebounds and three assists. Tyler Cartaino added 16 points and Erik Scheive scored 13 as the Silverswords ended their season with a 23-8 record.

Both teams struggled to find their scoring touch over the first five minutes before the Falcons opened up an 11-7 lead on Sharif Khan’s three-pointer at the 13:47 mark. Chaminade scored the next eight points, building the 15-11 advantage on Andre Arissol’s three-pointer with 11:44 to go. The teams traded leads over the next three minutes before Dressler’s jumper with 7:23 left opened a 9-0 run. The streak culminated on a pair of Cartaino free throws to build a 10-point advantage with 5:05 left.

The Seattle Pacific deficit was 33-23 when Wooten started a 6-2 run over the final three minutes. Divant’e Moffitt closed it out with the three-pointer with 24 seconds left to bring the Falcons within 35-31 at the break.

Chaminade kept the foot on the gas early in the second half, not allowing the Falcons closer than six points through the first 10 minutes of the stanza. Long managed to cut the SPU deficit to 50-42 as he made a string of four straight points, but the Silverswords notched their largest lead of 13 points, 62-49, on Dressler’s three-pointer with 8:33 left.

Wooten connected on a lay-in on the Falcons’ next possession, which was the catalyst for the 26-13 run down the stretch. Chaminade maintained the lead, though, until Lizotte hit a lay-in with 1:44 left to tie the game at 73-73. Lizotte nailed two free throws on the Falcons’ next possession for the two-point lead, only to watch Cartaino tie it with his lay-in with 17 seconds left. The Falcons worked for the potential final shot and Long hit the leaning jumper on the baseline for the win.