SAN DIEGO — The Western Oregon men’s basketball season came to an end on Friday night when they fell to the Point Loma Sea Lions, 70-58 at Golden Gymnasium in the first round of the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball West Regional Championships.
Coming in as the No. 8 seed, Western Oregon faced the toughest test of the first round, taking on the No. 1 seed and regional host in Point Loma.
Riley Hawken got in early foul trouble, committing two fouls inside the first minute of the game, forcing him to take a seat after just 53 seconds of play. The opening gave freshman Cam Cranston his earliest entrance into a game this season.
After an early tie at 6-6, the Wolves went on an 8-0 run to take a 14-6 lead under the 12-minute mark of the first half. During that stretch, Point Loma missed six consecutive field goals to drop their field goal shooting to 30 percent.
The Sea Lions bounced back and got their first lead of the night on a Preston Beverly layup to make it 19-18 with just over six minutes remaining in the first half. After a back-and-forth next three minutes, PLNU took what turned out to be their decisive lead, never trailing in the second half.
PLNU went on a 17-5 run over a seven-minute span late in the opening half that included a 3-pointer from Daulton Hommes from five feet beyond the arc to stretch out their lead to as many 12 before the break. Hommes finished with a game-high 21 points, five rebounds, one assist and one block in 32 minutes of play.
WOU committed just four first-half turnovers and only seven in the game, but were out-rebounded handily, 36-20. This included eight offensive rebounds for Point Loma.
After the Sea Lions ballooned their lead out to 15 early in the second half, Western Oregon closed to within four with 6:28 left to play in the game, backed by the 11 second-half points of sophomore Darius Lubom. Lubom finished the game with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Senior Kaleb Warner added on double figures in scoring in his final collegiate game, dropping 15 points and picking up five rebounds in the start.
The loss to Point Loma ends a four-game winning streak for the Wolves over the Sea Lions and marks just the second time they have lost to their foes from San Diego.
Western Oregon’s 2018-19 season is now concluded with the departure from the NCAA Tournament. The Wolves finished with an overall record of 22-11.