Saints Beat Falcons To Advance To First Regional Final
Saints' sixth-man BJ Standley led all scorers with 18 points. Photo courtesy Point Loma.
Saints' sixth-man BJ Standley led all scorers with 18 points. Photo courtesy Point Loma.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

SAN DIEGO – Thanks to a 42-point second half and a pair of solid performances from senior guards, No. 2 seed Saint Martin’s will advance to its first NCAA Division II West Region final with a 67-63 semifinals victory over Seattle Pacific Saturday night at Golden Gymnasium.

The Saints used the 42-point stanza to make the difference in a close contest between the two GNAC rivals that saw neither team led by more than seven points. The Saints shot 50 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three-point range in the second half while finishing at 43.4 percent from the field and 42.9 from outside for the win.

Senior guard BJ Standley led all scorers with 18 points in 24 minutes off the bench, connecting on 5 fo 10 from the field and 7 of 10 from the free throw line. Senior guard EJ Boyce added 17 points, which included 5 of 7 from three-point range, while senior guard Luke Chavez added 10 points.

Junior guard Gavin Long led the Falcons with 16 points as he made 7 of 11 from the field. Sophomore guard Harry Cavell added 13 points and freshman guard Divant’e Moffitt scored 11 points as Seattle Pacific finished the night shooting 40.8 percent from the field.

With the win, Saint Martin’s (26-5) advances to play No. 1 seed and tournament host Point Loma in the regional final on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Seattle Pacific, which saw its 13-game win streak snapped, finishes the season at 22-7.

Saint Martin’s held the early edge in the close contest, taking a 13-8 lead on Tavian Henderson’s short jumper at the 13:03 mark of the first half. The SMU lead was 15-11 with 9:26 left when a Long free throw started an 8-0 run that ended when Moffitt’s lay-in with 5:15 it gave Seattle Pacific a 19-15 advantage.

A pair of free throws by Wooten provided the Falcons their largest lead of the game, 29-22 with 1:48 left in the period, but a Standley jumper and a Chavez free throw brought the Saints within 29-25 at halftime.

Cavell opened the second half with a three-pointer that made the SPU lead seven points once again, but an 11-2 run that included treys in back-to-back possessions by Boyce gave the Saints the 34-32 advantage. The Falcons would tie the contest three times over the next seven minutes, but did not retake the lead until Cavell’s lay-in made it a 48-46 lead with 8:25 left.

The two teams played nip-and-tuck over the next six minutes with the Saints taking the lead for good, 64-62, on a Boyce three-pointer with 1:40 to go. The Falcons went cold during the run, going 0 for 4 during that stretch.