On Wednesday, Feb. 22, on the road, the Tritons fell to Humboldt State by just four points, 72-68. And on Friday, in their season finale, the Tritons lost 68-72, falling to 11th place in the 12-team CCAA conference for the second year in a row.
Junior forward Justin Brue scored 18 points and nabbed seven boards to lead the Tritons in scoring, but the true standout of the night was Lumberjack senior 6’6” forward Randy Hunter. Hunter scored 23 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Lumberjacks on a comeback late in the second half.
Down by six points with 4:34 minutes left in the game, Hunter out-rebounded several Tritons, putting back his own shot to narrow the margin to four points. Triton sophomore point guard James McCann capitalized on the next play with a bucket to put the lead again at six points, but Hunter was on the move and couldn’t be stopped. Hunter charged down the floor, missed a layup, got his own rebound and tipped it back in.
Hunter’s bucket marked the first of an 8-4 run that let the Lumberjacks take the game. Senior forward Christian Hatch had 11 points and eight boards, while McCann had 13 points and six assists.
For their final game of the 2012 season, the Tritons put up a great fight against Sonoma State.
With only five minutes remaining, the Tritons held an eight-point lead, due in large part to the efforts of Tyler “Lightswitch” McGrath. Lightswitch hit three-of-six three-pointers and was perfect from the freethrow line to tally 19 points, leading the Tritons in scoring. Hatch also pounded in 10 points and pulled in 8 boards. The Tritons trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, but battled their way back to within six at the end of the first period. Carrying good momentum into the second half, the Tritons out-paced the Seawolves 16-6 to take the lead in the first seven minutes 48-44.
Still in command with a six-point lead, the Tritons lost the ball. In the ensuing break, Seawolf Bryan Crowe put down a two-handed dunk that fed a 8-2 Seawolf streak. The Triton turnover brought Sonoma to within two points 64-66 with three and a half minutes remaining.
Tied at 68 points apiece, Seawolf Steven Pratt — already leading the game in scoring with 20 points — hit two free throws with 6.4 seconds remaining to solidify the win. The Tritons’ last play attempt was no good, as a haphazard half-court pass was intercepted by Sonoma, who trotted away with the victory.
“We had two very close games in places that are very hard to play in,” McCann said. “A couple things didn’t go our way late in games but I’m really happy about how hard we played.”