SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Seventh-seeded Montana State Billings fell into a 15-point hole in the first half and was unable to dig its way out in a 63-57 loss to No. 2 seed Cal State San Bernardino on Friday at the NCAA Division II West Regional tournament.
MSUB trailed 30-15 at the 6:52 mark of the opening half, but closed to within two points by halftime and stayed in the hunt down 51-49 with 5:29 remaining in the game. The deficit reached 10 points with 3:31 left after a layup by CSUSB's Darius Mickens and the Jackets couldn't recover.
The Yellowjackets, who finished the season with a 20-10 record, were led by Bilal Shabazz's 21 points and 12 rebounds. Carrington Wiggins added 11 points and eight boards. MSUB made just 4 of 23 3-point shots.
Mickens led a balanced scoring effort for CSUSB with 14 points. Kaijae Yee-Stephens
added 12 points while Eddie Davis had 11 and Dontrell Shuler scored 10. CSUSB improved to 28-3.
This season marked the Yellowjackets tenth tournament appearance in program history but their first since 2012. It was the program's first 20-win season since the 2005-2006 campaign.