Both the men’s and women’s NCAA Division II West Regionals came to San Diego in 2019. Point Loma Nazarene got to host the men’s tournament for the first time in its history while U.C. San Diego welcomed the women’s tournament (which is the privilege you earn when you have a 29-0 record).
It probably won’t be the last time that happens. Both the home teams won (well actually all three home teams won) on Friday night.
The 10th-ranked Sea Lions, who have the highest-ranked men’s team in the history of the entire Point Loma Athletics Department, dispatched of Western Oregon 70-58. Point Loma was led by Daulton Hommes, who scored 21 points on an efficient 8-for-11 shooting night. Preston Beverly chipped in 17 points.
The Sea Lions played tremendous defense, holding Western Oregon to 38% shooting and not committing many fouls. Point Loma was called for just 11 fouls the entire game so the Wolves only shot seven free throws.
In the semi-finals they’ll face U.C. San Diego. The Tritons men are the 4th seed in the West Regional and took down Cal Poly-Pomona 61-50. Tyrell Roberts scored a career-high 24 points and Chris Hansen had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
This was not a good shooting game for either team. They combined to go 13-for-50 from the 3-point line but the Broncos were especially dismal, missing all nine of their 3-point tries in the first half. Cal-Poly trailed 26-16 at the break. Point Loma and U.C. San Diego will play an elimination game Saturday night at Golden Gym at 7:30 p.m.
Athletic Director, Ethan Hamilton and Associate Vice President for Enrollment, Scott Shoemaker said the university rushed to get ready for Friday night’s games because once the school was chosen to host the NCAA tournament, they are only told one week in advance, even after putting their bid in on March 1st.
“There is a lot of scrambling, we are a relatively small school; a lot of volunteers have come out, other coaches, other sports are helping,” said Shoemaker. “People who have waved there hand and say ‘Put me at a gate, put me at a door, I’ll help park cars,’ it’s been great.”
Hamilton said he knew if given the chance to host, then he could showcase PLNU’s beauty to the competition and future athletes.
“It’s a little bit of a hidden jewel, I don’t want it to be as hidden,” said Hamilton. “To be the number one seed out west and have this opportunity and be recognized for that, it’s an honor and there is a good buzz on campus.”
In La Jolla the Tritons women barely broke a sweat in an 81-58 dismantling of Dominican University-California. Senior guard Joleen Yang hit six shots from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 22 points. Forward Haleigh Hatfield added 18 points and 10 rebounds while Division II West Region Player of the Year Mikayla Williams had 11 points and 10 boards.
U.C. San Diego outrebounded Dominican 46-28 and built a 73-37 lead after the 3rd quarter before going into cruise control for the final 10 minutes. The Tritons will play Azusa Pacific in the West Region semi-finals on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at RIMAC Arena.