By Jeremy Gonzalez, co-sports editor
After qualifying for a fourth straight postseason, the CSUDH men’s basketball team saw their season go up in smoke as they lost a nail-biting CCAA quarterfinal 67-66 to second seeded Cal Poly Pomona in overtime at Kellogg Arena on Tuesday night.
The Toros led 58-56 with 8.8 seconds left in the second half but allowed the Broncos to get a tip-in at the buzzer to tie the game and send it to overtime.
The back-and-forth affair between the two teams during regulation spilled into the overtime period. The Toros allowed Broncos guard William Christmas to score a basket that gave the Broncos a one point lead with the final possession going to the Toros. Colten Kresl was unable to get open during the final shot and could not get his shot off on time before the buzzer, leading to the Toros’ fourth straight first round exit.
This was the third meeting between the Broncos and Toros this season. The first meeting at Kellogg Arena ended in a 19-point defeat for the Toros and the second meeting produced an overtime thriller at the Torodome where the Toros prevailed 86-82.
Cal State Dominguez Hills entered the postseason as the seventh seed in the conference after securing their playoff berth this past weekend with victories against San Francisco State and Sonoma State.
It was never going to be an easy game for the Toros to play a postseason game on the road, but the team constantly put up a fight and nearly pulled off the upset. Neither team held a lead of more than five points.
Kresl finished with 23 points to lead all players in the game. Seniors Andrew Whitsett and Wonder Smith played their final games as Toros. Whitsett has a stellar performance in his final game as he finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds along with five blocks. Smith’s final stat line was 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Toros will head into their offseason immediately while Cal Poly Pomona continues into the CCAA semifinals to face Chico State at Rimac Arena in San Diego on Friday, March 6.