Just one full week into March and the madness is in full swing. Westmont Men’s Basketball (18-9) needed five extra minutes of overtime to put out the Firestorm of Arizona Christian (23-8) in the first round of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament. The Warriors won by a score of 93-90 with senior captain
Maxwell Hudgins hit a 3-pointer with one second remaining in overtime to give Westmont a 93-90 win over Arizona Christian in the first round of the Golden State Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament on Thursday in Rocklin.
The victory puts the Warriors in the semifinals, where they will face top-seeded The Master’s on Friday night. The other semifinal has host William Jessup taking on Vanguard.
Matt Ramon had a big game for Westmont, recording a double-double of18 points and 12 boards, and Kyle Scalmanini scored a career-high 25 points.
Callum Lawson of Arizona Christian led all scorers with 30 points.
Arizona Christian led by five at 71-66 with 6:50 left to play in regulation.
Westmont responded with a 7-2 run to tie the game at 73-73 with 4:38 to play. Hudgins hit a jumper to give the Warriors a 80-77 with 2:05 left.
“I loved the way Matt played tonight, he was heroic,” said Westmont coach John Moore.
Arizona Christian tied the score at 81 with 1:19 left to play.
The Warriors suffered a big blow when Olisa Nwachie was called for an offensive foul on – his fifth foul of the evening.
The Firestorm had the ball with 58 second to play. Lawson got the ball down low and Ramon came in and stripped it from him. The Warriors called timeout.
With the clock running out, Hudgins slipped through the key toward the rim and was given a perfect pass. He had a clear look at the rim but his shot came up inches short. The Firestorm had four seconds to play with in regulation, but were unable to convert – sending the game to overtime.
With Nwachie out, Westmont sent freshman Jordan Taylor to the tipoff to start the overtime period. Taylor won the tip and Scalmanini came down and was fouled as he hit a layup. He made the free throw to put the Warriors up by three.
Scalmanini followed with a jumper, a layup, and two more free throws, giving him Westmont’s first nine points in the overtime period.
“Kyle is a gamer. The harder the game situation is the better Kyle is,” said Moore. “He’s one of those guys who wants the ball in his hands when the game clock is winding down.”
With 11 seconds left, the game reached its 15th and final tie.
Ramon drew a charging foul, giving Westmont the ball in the final seconds.
Hudgins flared out past the 3-point line and Jordan Spaschak found him. Hudgins nailed the game-winning 3-pointer with one second left on the clock.
“Max Hudgins, talk about redemption. He missed that layup that would have won the game in regulation and hits the big three with great confidence. Max was pretty special,” noted Moore.