Senior guard Keith Lowe converted a three-point play with 5.5 seconds remaining to give California University a 53-52 victory over Mercyhurst in a PSAC West Division game Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.
A win Wednesday at Clarion would give Cal (10-11, 11-14) a .500 finish in the conference in regular-season play. Cal will be the sixth seed in the PSAC tournament that begins Saturday. In the first round, the Vulcans will play at the third seed, which has not been determined.
Cal led 28-23 at halftime and was up by as many as 10 points in the second half with 5:19 remaining. But Mercyhurst’s Lui Leao made a game-tying layup and then sank a jump shot to cap a 13-1 run and put the Lakers ahead 52-50 with only 1:05 to play. Leao led Mercyhurst with 16 points.
After two missed shots and a turnover by Cal, Mercyhurst’s Callon Dailey had a chance to seal the victory for the Lakers but missed the front end of a one-and-one with 14 seconds left.
Going without a timeout, Cal advanced the ball to the frontcourt and gave it to Lowe, who made a shot from the lane while being fouled by Dailey. Lowe’s free throw put Cal up 53-52, and Mercyhurst’s Terrence Ingram missed a desperation shot with one shot remaining.
Mitchell Weedon led Cal with 13 points and nine rebounds. Quentin harding had 12 points and Jake Jacubec had 11.
Ingram scored 12 points for Mercyhurst.
California 67, Mercyhurst 49: Elena Antonenko led four California players in double figures with 14 points and the Vulcans defeated visiting Mercyhurst 67-49 in a PSAC West Division game.
Cal (14-7, 18-7) has clinched fourth place in the division and will host Clarion in the first round of the PSAC tournament Saturday.
The Vulcans scored 36 points in the lane, including 18 second-chance points, as they dominated the inside play against Mercyhurst (7-14, 7-18).
Ashley Hines had 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds for Cal. Stephanie Michael scored 12 points and Irina Kukolj had 10.
Kaylee Foster, with 13 points, was the only player to score in double figures for Mercyhurst. The Lakers made only one of 11 shots from three-point range.