SAN RAFAEL, Calif. – Two weeks ago, the Chaminade University men’s basketball team rallied from 19 points down to stun Azusa Pacific.
On Friday against Concordia Irvine, the Silverswords found themselves down by the same margin. Like that fateful day on Feb. 16, the ‘Swords made a furious rally. This time, however, they could not complete another epic comeback, dropping a 75-69 decision to the Eagles in the Pacific West Conference Men’s Basketball Championship semifinals at the Conlon Center on the Dominican University campus.
Chaminade trailed 54-35 with 11:19 left then sliced the deficit to as little as four just seven minutes later before running out of steam.
Tyler Cartaino (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park) had 30 points with 10 rebounds – both career-highs and first career double-double – and added three steals as the Silverswords fell to 23-7 on the season.
The ‘Swords will now be in the waiting game for Sunday’s NCAA Selection Show to see if they one of the eight teams in the West Region who will receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Silverswords were ranked No. 6 in the final regular season West Region rankings.
Grant Dressler (Las Vegas/Sacramento State/Palo Verde HS), who had 34 points Thursday against Holy Names which is second-most in a PacWest Tournament game, finished with 12 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals. Erik Scheive (Marysville, Calif./Yuba College/Marysville HS) added 11 points and six boards.
Andre Arissol (Northampton, England/Otero JC/Charnwood HS) contributed with five points and Nicholas Anderson (Anaheim, Calif./Fullerton College/Canyon HS) with four.
Jamel White had a season-high 23 points for second-seeded Concordia (23-9) which advanced to Saturday’s PacWest Tournament Championship game.
Chaminade hoisted up consecutive 3-pointers by Arissol and Dressler for a 6-2 lead just two minutes in. A three-point play from Cartaino gave the ‘Swords a 9-6 advantage but a 12-2 run which swung the lead to Concordia.
The Eagles’ lead grew to as many as 10 before Chaminade managed to get to within 35-28 at halftime.
Concordia came out gunning in the second half and a 10-1 run pushed its lead to 45-29 at the 17:40 mark. Chaminade trailed by as many as 19 and with 5:42 left, the ‘Swords were down 63-48.
But Chaminade employed a full-court press and a three-point play by Roman Young (Wichita, Kan./Mineral Area College/Sunrise Christian Academy) seemed to be a spark the Silverswords needed. Cartaino had six points during a 13-2 surge ending with Arissol’s steal and breakaway layup, cutting the deficit to four with 4:10 remaining.
But the ‘Swords could not get any closer as several shots from close range spun out of the rim in the closing minutes.
Just 24 hours after shooting a PacWest Tournament record 59.6 percent from the floor, Chaminade was held to just 38.3 from the field including 5-of-23 from beyond the arc. The ‘Swords made just three of their final 21 triples after Arissol’s and Dressler’s early makes in the game.
Rebounds were even at 32 and Chaminade had a 12-5 advantage on the offensive glass but Concordia took advantage of its offensive boards, outscoring the ‘Swords, 20-6, in second-chance points. CUI also made 10 of its 24 tries from 3-point range. The Silverswords did manage to force 20 Concordia turnovers.
Just 24 hours after Dressler set a PacWest Tournament record with 14 free throw attempts, Cartaino surpassed it, making 16 trips to the line.
Sunday’s NCAA Division II Selection Show will be shown online at NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. Hawai’i Standard Time.
PacWest Tournament records set by Chaminade:
Free throws made: 14, Dressler (vs. Holy Names)
Free throws attempted: 16, Cartaino (vs. Concordia), broke Dressler’s record of 14 vs. HNU
Free throw percentage: 1.000, Dressler (vs. Holy Names)
Most tournament wins – 7
Most points – 108 (vs. Holy Names)
Highest field goal percentage – 59.6 (vs. Holy Names)
Free throws made: 33 (vs. Holy Names)
Free throws attempted: 42 (vs. Holy Names)