Riverside, Calif. - After losing to the Keelhaulers (87-81) on their home court, at the beginning of January, the Golden Eagles were confident they could compete with the No. 17 Keelhaulers. Cal Maritime entered the game with a perfect 7-0 Cal Pac record, but La Sierra took early control of tonight's game, survived an impressive comeback, and pulled out the victory with a last second shot.
With the score tied 7-7 in the early going of the first half, the Golden Eagles pushed out to a 22-12 lead with the help of a 15-5 run.
La Sierra extended their lead to 29-16 on a Xavier Spells field goal with 9:15 remaining in the first half. Over the next five minutes, the Golden Eagles were able to not only maintain their lead, but to extend it to a 52-34 halftime lead.
In the first couple minutes of the second half, Wolfgang Wood was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted all three free throws, pushing the lead to 57-36, the Golden Eagles largest lead of the game.
But over the next five minutes, the Keelhaulers mounted a charge, using a 14-0 run to cut the lead to 57-50 with 13:27 to play.
A field goal by Garrett Kiefer pushed the lead back to 62-50, in favor of La Sierra, but the Keelhaulers quickly answered with five straight points, cutting the lead back down to seven points, 62-55.
Cal Maritime caught the Golden Eagles at the 4:53 mark, tying the game at 66-66, on a Casey Healy field goal. After the two teams exchanged baskets, Wolfgang Wood converted a three-point play to five La Sierra a 75-70 lead with 2:19 remaining.
But the Keelhaulers weren't done. Trailing 75-74, the Keelhaulers Casey Healy missed the potential go-ahead lay-up with under 30 seconds to play. But Healy made up for it by stealing the ball right back and laying it in for the go-ahead basket. With 11 seconds left on the clock, Daveon Woods launched a three-point shot that rattled in then out, hung on the back of the rim for a second, before falling through the cylinder for the eventual 78-76 win.
The Keelhaulers had a chance to win or tie with just 1.2 seconds on the game clock, but the Golden Eagles were able to tip away the attempt at a lob pass to secure the victory.
Freshmen Wolfgang Wood led all players with 26 points to go along with six rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Wood connected on 8-of-17 field goal attempts, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Woods added 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Also scoring in double figures was Ian Mozeleski, who scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 from the 3-point line.
The men's basketball team improves to 3-6 in Cal Pac play (5-21 overall). The team will travel north for two of their three remaining regular season conference games this coming weekend. The Golden Eagles will face William Jessup University on Thursday evening, followed by a match-up with Simpson University next Saturday night.