CSDH hits shot at buzzer to win CCAA
Willhite's 3-pointer at buzzer gives Toros tourney bid
HAYWARD – Junior guard Robert Willhite’s desperation 3-point basket at the buzzer lifted No. 2 seed Cal State Dominguez Hills to a dramatic 51-50 victory against top-seeded Humboldt State in the championship game of the 2011 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament Saturday at Pioneer Gymnasium in Hayward.
It was Willhite’s only field goal of the game and secured an NCAA Tournament berth for the Toros (23-6) and their first conference tournament title since defeating Cal Poly in 1987.
Willhite’s heroics overshadowed and impressive showing by tournament Most Outstanding Player Brian Morris of Humboldt State. The Lumberjacks center scored a game-high 25 points and accounted for half of Humboldt State’s offensive output.
Randy Hunter had an opportunity to seal the win for the Lumberjacks when he went to the free throw line with :07 remaining. However, he missed the front end of a one-and-one, James Cawthorne grabbed the rebound for the Toros and passed the ball to Willhite, who shot from the right baseline and drained the game-winner.
Michael Cox, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the Toros with 15 points and eight rebounds before fouling out with 2:58 remaining.
Joining Morris in double figures for the Lumberjacks was Hunter, who posted a double-double, scoring 10 points and collecting 11 rebounds.
Each team struggled from the field as neither hit the 40 percent mark for the game. The Toros were just 19 of 51 (37.3 percent), while the Lumberjacks connected on just 32.7 percent (17 of 52) of their field attempts.