- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MONMOUTH, Ore. (AP) - Andy Avgi scored 25 points and Julian Nichols had 11 points and 10 assists to lead Western Oregon to a 60-55 victory over UC San Diego for the NCAA Division II West Region championship on Monday night.

Avgi, voted the tournament’s most valuable player after being named West Region player of the year earlier in the day, had 20 points in the second half. His 3-point play with 1:11 to go proved to be the winning points.

The Wolves (30-3) shot 19 of 20 from the foul line and were not charged with a turnover.

“That’s the first game I’ve ever coached in where there were zero turnovers,” Western Oregon coach Jim Shaw said. “We did the little things that we could control, obviously taking care of the basketball and hitting our free throws.

“I couldn’t be prouder. I thought our guys did a great job.”

Western Oregon now advances to the Elite Eight on March 23 in Frisco, Texas, also the site of the semifinals and title game. The Wolves won’t know their next until the remaining regional games are played and the selection committee reseeds the quarterfinal teams.

Drew Dyer led the Tritons (24-8) with 22 points, and Adam Klie had 14. Both were named to the all-tournament team, joining Avgi, Nichols and Gelaun Wheelwright of California Baptist.

After Avgi’s final points, UC San Diego cut the deficit to 58-55 on Dyer’s 3-pointer and had a chance to tie after calling timeout with 10.3 seconds left. However, Western Oregon’s Tanner Omlid blocked Anthony Ballestero’s 3-point try from the corner, and Jordan Wiley hit two insurance free throws for the final margin.

The Wolves matched the school records for victories and the deepest postseason run set by the 30-2 team that reached the quarterfinals of the 1982 NAIA national tournament.


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