LIVERMORE, Calif. – Darien McLain drove the length of the court with four seconds remaining for a buzzer-beating layup to give San Diego City College its first California Community College Athletic Association men's basketball championship, 53-51, over Fullerton College Sunday afternoon at Las Positas College.
Robert Taylor had driven for a San Diego layup with 12 seconds left to tie the score and Fullerton turned the ball over on a traveling call with 4.1 showing on the clock.
McLain is a transfer from the University of Tampa, where he saw action last year as a walk-on. The tournament MVP, the 5-foot-9 sophomore guard from O'Fallon, Ill. had 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and a steal in the finale.)
Fullerton had taken a 50-49 lead with 1:36 remaining on a 3-pointer from the left corner by Dillon Reise and extended it to 51-49 on a free throw by Kendall Lauderdale with 39 second left.
It was only the second time in the state finals for state No. 10 ranked San Diego (31-5), which lost to Fresno City College, 76-69, in the 1963 title game. No. 2 Fullerton (26-7), the top Southern California seed, was seeking its fourth crown. San Diego had eliminated top ranked and defending state champion City College of San Francisco, 79-77, in the semifinals.
Sunday's game was tied five times and there were 10 lead changes.
San Diego got off to a 7-0 start and moved out to an 11-point advantage, leading most of the first half until the Hornets came back with an 11-point run to go ahead, 26-25 with 3:15 left in the period on a driving layup and free throw by Jonathan Ross. San Diego led, 29-28, at the break.
Fullerton had a 9-point run midway through the second half, taking a 45-38 lead with 7:07 left. The Knights came right back on 3-pointers by McClain and Taylor to send the game down to the wire.
Game high scorer Lauderdale of Fullerton had 11 of his 17 points in the first half and was also the game's top rebounder with 11. He was an all-tournament selection.
Alex Wilbourn, San Diego's 6-11 sophomore center, was the Knight's top scorer (13 points) and rebounder (8). Robert McCoy, a 6-7 freshman forward, had eight points, three blocks, and six rebounds. Both frontliners were all-tourney picks. Taylor had 11 points and five rebounds.
Zach Copeland, San Francisco
Derrick Randolph, Feather River
Kendall Lauderdale, Fullerton
Robert McCoy, San Diego
Alex Wilbourn, San Diego
Darien McClain, San Diego, MVP
(compiled by Fred Baer, College of San Mateo sports information director.)