Pac West Conference Tournament preview: Today’s semifinals


GAME 1: #3-Seed California Baptist University vs. #2-Seed Azusa Pacific University
Gametime: 4:00 Pacific Time
Winner advances to Championship game.

California Baptist University (23-5)

How they got here: Beat Hawaii Pacific in quarterfinals 99-84. Gelaun Wheelwright and Michael Smith scored 28 and 26 points respectively.

Probable Starters-Gelaun Wheelwright (6’2 G, 15.8 PPG), Taj Spencer (6’7 F, 11.9 PPG), Michael Smith (6’4 G, 11.6 PPG), Trevone Williams (6’6 F, 7.5 PPG), Chris Brown (6’1 G, 6.5 PPG). Other Key Players-Ryan Berg (6’2 G, 12.4 PPG), Jordan Giusti (6’2 G, 5.2 PPG), Elvidas Petrulis (6’7 F, 5.9 PPG), Eric Nelson (6’7 F, 2.7 PPG)

Scoring Offense: 79.4 Scoring Defense: 68.2

Azusa Pacific University (24-4)

How they got here: Gained #2 seed and first-round bye as PacWest Season Co-Champion with Dixie State.

Probable Starters-Troy Leaf (6’1 G, 22.7 PPG), Robert Sandoval (6’0 G, 10.2 PPG), Kevin Stafford (6’3 G, 7.2 PPG), Christian Katuala (6’5 F, 6.8 PPG), Andy Jones (6’5 F, 3.8 PPG). Other Key Players-Will Ward (6’5 F, 8.6 PPG), Bruce English (6’1 G, 7.0 PPG), Jared Zoller (6’5 F, 6.2PPG), Petar Kutlesic (6’8 F, 5.6 PPG)

Scoring Offense: 84.6 Scoring Defense: 72.2

Outlook: These teams split in the regular season with both teams winning at home. The home team shot lights out from the arc against the visitors. How will they do on a neutral court? CBU has one game under its belt on this court winning yesterday. They shot 54 percent from distance with Wheelwright connecting on 8 of 13. PacWest player of the year Leaf shows up every night. If Sandoval, English and Ward add to the scoring punch it will help tremendously. Prediction: Cal Baptist 88, Azusa Pacific 85.

GAME 2: #4-Seed Brigham Young University-Hawaii vs. #1-Seed Dixie State University
Gametime: 6:15 Pacific Time
Winner advances to Championship game

Brigham Young University-Hawaii (22-5)

How they got here: Beat Point Loma Nazarene in quarterfinals 74-49. Coro led the team with 16 points as the Seasiders shot a tournament record 55 percent from the floor.

Probable Starters-Pablo Coro (6’3 G,16.2 PPG), Daniel Berger (6’8 F, 14.0 PPG), Scott Friel (6’5 F, 11.6 PPG), Jordan Stone (6’10 C, 9.5 PPG), Robbie Mitchell (5’9 G, 4.5 PPG). Other Key Players-Ian Harward (C, 8.2 PPG), Luke Aston (6’7 F, 7.9 PPG), Cory Lange (G, 6.6 PPG), Tyler Tuliau (6’5 F, 4.6 PPG), Justin Yamzon (5’7 G, 4.4 PPG)

Scoring Offense: 88.9 Scoring Defense: 75.3

Dixie State University (20-6)

Probable Starters-Zach Robbins (6’10 C, 16.5 PPG), DeQuan Thompson (6’3 G, 15.4 PPG), Mason Sawyer (5’10 G, 12.8 PPG), Mark Ogden, Jr. (6’8 F, 10.7 PPG), Robbie Nielson (6’4 F, 6.0 PPG). Other Key Players-Zac Hunter (6’6 F, 5.5 PPG), Trevor Hill (6’3 G, 5.0 PPG), Collin Woods (6’2 G, 4.3 PPG)

How they got here: Gained #1 seed and first-round bye as PacWest Season Co-Champion with Azusa Pacific.

Outlook: These teams only met once. The Red Storm upset BYU-H on their home floor back in January. No one can match up with the Seasiders’ size, but Dixie comes the closest with Robbins and Ogden. Both teams like to run and the Seasiders have more depth. Dixie State has something to prove after last year’s early departure in the tournament. Prediction: Dixie State 80, BYU-Hawaii 74.

Pac West Conference Tournament Central

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