VALLEJO, Calif. - The Men's Basketball team punched their ticket to the California Pacific Conference championship game with tonight's semifinal win over Benedictine-Mesa, 78-75. The Pioneers will play Cal Maritime on Tuesday, February 28, in the finals in Vallejo, Calif.
The Pioneers and Benedictine opened the game with a consistent exchange of points; however, the Pioneers went on a 17-5 run to pull ahead 33-15 with just over four minutes left in the opening half. Going into the locker room at halftime, the Pioneers had a comfortable 18-point lead over the Redhawks.
With no major momentum changes until two minutes into the second half, the Redhakws went on a 7-0 run, cutting their deficit to 67-59. The Redhawks continued to chip away at the Pioneers lead and with less than two minute on the clock, found themselves down by only four points.
The Redhawk's Gus Leon committed a flagrant foul with 21 seconds left in the game. Both benches were cleared, and all but five players from each team were dismissed from the gym for the remainder of the game. Chad Young (SR/Carson, CA) sunk two free throws giving the Pioneers a slim 78-72 lead. Young, fouled again, missed both of his free throws. Troy Conley from Benedictine made a clutch 3-pointer with seconds left on the clock to make it a 78-75 game. Despite a PUC turnover, the Redhawk final shot attempts missed, securing a historic win for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers were led by Cal Pac's player of the week Kwuan Guerrero (SR/Los Angeles, CA) who posted 17 points. Chad Young contributed 16 points while Anthony Adams-Rule Sr. (SR/Kansas City, MO) added 12 points and Rae Hubbard (JR/Fairfield, CA) with 10 points.
The Pioneers will continue with their historic season Tuesday, February 28th (7:30 p.m.) against Cal Maritime in the finals. This Pioneers squad is first men's basketball team to make the California Pacific Conference finals in school history.