Survive and advance. It is the name of the game during the month of March. And survive and advance is exactly what California Baptist did to open WAC Vegas on Tuesday night at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay.
Reed Nottage hit a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound with 44 seconds to play to help CBU survive and advance with an 81-80 win over UTRGV. The Lancers advance to Wednesday where they will take on Sam Houston at Orleans Arena.
Ty Rowell’s 3-pointer with 16:11 to play gave the Lancers a 50-38 lead.
Following a Mike Adewunmi 3-pointer and an Xavier Johnson jumper to cut the deficit to seven, Reed Nottage knocked down a three to push the lead back to double digits.
That is when UTRGV guard Xavier Johnson decided to take it upon himself to get the Vaqueros back in the game. Johnson went on a 7-0 run all by himself over the next 50 seconds to cut the deficit to three with 13:40 to play.
A 3-pointer by Chance Hunter and a 3-point play by Juhlawnei Stone pushed the lead to eight. However, Xavier Johnson responded once again with a 3-point play of his own.
Hunter hit another 3-pointer with 7:55 to play and Stone’s layup gave the Lancers a 10-point lead with 6:47 to play.
From there, the teams began trading baskets. A 9-2 UTRGV run cut the deficit to one with 2:17 to play. Xavier Johnson’s 3-pointer made it a 74-73 game. However, CBU guard Trey Armstrong answered with a 3-pointer of his own.
Following a Quinton Johnson jumper and Marek Nelson layup off a Mike Adewunmi turnover, craziness began with the game tied at 77 with 56 seconds to play.
With 48 seconds to play, WAC Freshman of the Year Taran Armstrong went to the free throw. After knocking down the first to give CBU a 78-77 lead, Armstrong missed the second. But, teammate Elijah Thomas came down with the offensive board and found a wide open Reed Nottage. Nottage called bank hit a 3-pointer with 44 seconds to play to give the Lancers an 81-77 lead.
— California Baptist Men's Basketball (@CBUmbb) March 9, 2022
Xavier Johnson had an answer. Johnson hit a 3-pointer off the backboard while falling out of bounds to make it a 1-point game.
— UTRGV Men’s Basketball (@UTRGVmbb) March 9, 2022
With seven seconds, UTRGV had a chance win the game. Reed Nottage missed a 3-pointer that fell into the hands of Mike Adewunmi. Unfortunately, for UTRGV, Adewunmi’s shot fell just short as time expired and CBU as able to survive and advance.
Xavier Johnson finished with a game-high 27 points. Marek Nelson chipped in 17 points and Mike Adewunmi finished with 15 points for the Vaqueros.
Taran Armstrong and Tre Armstrong both had 13 points to lead the Lancers. Chance Hunter, Reed Nottage and Ty Rowell all had 12 points and Juhlawnei Stone had 11 points.
In survive and advance mode, CBU advances to take on Sam Houston on Wednesday night at the Orleans Arena.