Quadruple-Overtime Thriller Ends in Heartbreak For Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles Eliminated From CCAA Tournament by the Broncos


Golden Eagles guard, number 10, Shacquille Dawkins (right) attempts to block Broncos’ number 1, guard Jordan Ogundiran (left) during the semifinals of the CCAA Tournament at the Pioneer Gym in Hayward. Photo courtesy of California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)

Anthony Quach, Sports Editor

It took two halves and four grueling overtime periods to determine a winner between the Cal State LA Golden Eagles and the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos, as both teams battled it out in semifinals of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament last Friday at Pioneer Gym.

Both teams gave it their all, but ultimately the Broncos outlasted the Golden Eagles, 102-99 and advanced to finals of the CCAA Tournament.

The agony of defeat best summarized this heartbreaking loss for Cal State LA, as they looked to advance to the CCAA Finals for the first time in program history.

This was the longest NCAA Division II game this season and the longest CCAA Tournament game in history.

Both teams had their largest lead of the game in the first half, as the Golden Eagles led by as many as seven, while the Broncos’ largest lead was six. A 3-point buzzer beater gave the Broncos the lead at the end of the first half, 29-28.

As the second half commenced, the game was neck-and-neck, with neither team gaining a lead larger than six. Both teams were evenly matched, as they ended regulation tied 64-64.

Once the first overtime period began, the Golden Eagles found themselves down 70-66. The Golden Eagles would retake the lead 75-72, but the Broncos six unanswered points to lead by three. This would set up a clutch 3-pointer by Golden Eagles guard Kenneth Cyprian, who helped send the game to a second overtime with 2.1 seconds remaining.

With the game tied 84-84 in the second overtime, the Golden Eagles had the final possession and placed the ball in the hands of their guard Shacquille Dawkins. However, Dawkins was unable to score against the Broncos’ tough defense and the game would go to a third overtime.

In the third overtime, Dawkins scored all six points for the Golden Eagles. The Broncos had a chance to win it, but the Golden Eagles’ defense had other plans, as both teams would enter a fourth overtime, tied at 90 apiece.

The Golden Eagles trailed 95-92 in the final overtime, but after a reverse layup by Dawkins and a 3-pointer by their guard Miles Ford, the Golden Eagles led 97-95. This was their final lead of the game, as the Broncos came back to take the lead 102-99. The Golden Eagles had a chance to tie the game, but turned the ball over on the following inbounds pass with two seconds remaining. That would be the nail in the coffin for the Golden Eagles. After a three-hour marathon, the Broncos emerged victorious.

Overall, the Golden Eagles shot 42.3 percent from the field and made 15-of-43 from 3-point range, while the Broncos shot 45.8 percent and made 6-of-19 from beyond the arc.

Dawkins led his team in scoring with 32 points and shot 12-of-29 from the field and had five steals. His teammate, guard Fard Muhammad scored 24 points and shot 8-of-15 from the field and made five three-pointers.

The loss ended the Golden Eagles’ season as they finished with an overall record of 18-12.

Despite the disappointing loss, Golden Eagles’ head coach Jim Saia said he is proud of his team’s performance.

“I don’t think I’ve ever coached a team that had this much fight and resiliency and I’ve coached at the highest level and it’s not even close,” said Saia in the CCAA post-game interview.

As their season comes to an end, the future of the Cal State LA basketball program remains bright.

“We got a lot of guys coming back, we got some redshirts, but we’re building a foundation here,” said Coach Saia. “This team broke the barrier because Cal State LA has never come close to beating the top teams. [Now], we can compete with the best in this conference for the first time in the history of Cal State LA.”