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Men's basketball defeat rival to win PacWest Tournament

RIVERSIDE, Calif(March 7, 2016) – The men's basketball team at California Baptist University soundly defeated division rival Azusa Pacific University (APU) 101-64 to win the PacWest Tournament on March 5 in Irvine, Calif. With the win, the No. 18-ranked Lancers grabbed an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II West Regional Playoff tournament for the third-straight year.

The Lancers had lost the previous two meetings against APU by a combined total of three points. The game was expected to be another closely contested game. However, the Lancers came out on fire and never looked back. The 37 point win was the largest margin of victory in a PacWest Championship game, improving CBU to 27-6 overall. Additionally, the Lancers became the first team to score 100 points in a PacWest Championship game, dropping 13 three-pointer and shooting 58.2 percent from the field. The victory also extends the Lancers' winning-streak to nine games.

"We're excited," said Coach Rick Croy. "We really wanted this game. The guys were ready to go today. There wasn't a lot that needed to be said. We wanted to focus on our program and our commitment to each other and that's what played out today. That was some of the best defense we've played against a great APU team."

Michael Smith — who set a new tournament record for most points scored over the three-day span — was named Most Outstanding Player, going along with his PacWest Player of the Year title, and led the Lancers with 26 points (10-for-16). 

The Lancers have been awarded a No. 3 seed for the second year in a row for the playoff tournament and will take on No. 6 seed Cal Poly Pomona on March 12. The West Regional tournament will be held at Western Oregon.

Times have not yet been released for the games, but will be updated on cbulancers.com as soon as they are set.