Central Men lose in Vegas at Great Western ShootoutPosted: Updated:
Las Vegas, Nevada --- Reserve forward Michael Earl scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-9 field goal shooting, helping nationally top 10-ranked Cal State San Bernardino defeat Central Washington University, 83-60, in first-day men's basketball action Tuesday at the second annual Great Western Shootout being held at Centennial Hills Center.
CSUSB, rated No.10 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 8-1 following a 78-75 overtime loss to Azusa Pacific last weekend. Earl, a transfer from Utah State, had 11 points in the first half and grabbed five rebounds in the game.
Guard Marlon Pierce had 12 points and five assists for the Coyotes, and guard Lance Ortiz contributed 11 points and a game-high seven assists.
Central, which fell to 3-3, matched its lowest point total since the 2004 campaign. The Wildcats got 11 points and seven rebounds, both team highs, off the bench from Bryce Daub.
Brandon Foote added 10 points for Central, which shot just 34.0 percent (16-of-47) from the field.
After a layup by Daub gave Central its only lead at 10-9 six minutes into the game, CSUSB went on a 15-4 run to lead by 10, 24-14, midway through the opening period and led, 39-29, at halftime.
The Coyotes outscored Central, 26-7, over the first six minutes of the second half, extending their advantage to 23 points, 55-32, with 14:14 remaining in the contest. CSUSB's biggest lead was 28 points, 73-45, with 5:49 to go, as the Wildcats never go closer than 20 in the final 10 minutes.
The Coyotes are 3-0 in Great Western Shootout contests, and Central fell to 0-3.
CSUSB, the defending West Region champion, meets host Western Washington (7-1) in the last game of final-day play Wednesday (5 p.m.), and Central plays Cal Poly Pomona (1-4) at 3 p.m.