They call Michael Harris "Money" and he showed why Saturday night, leading Cal State Hayward to a 51-48 victory over Cal State Northridge in the championship game of the NCAA Division II West Regional at Eastern Montana College.
For it was with Hayward's season, or the "money," on the line that the 6-0 junior guard came up with the big play, making a steal and driving the length of the floor to score on a lay-in with three seconds left in the game.
The win moves Hayward (21-7) into the quarterfinals of the Division II tournament. The Pioneers will travel to either South Dakota State or Grand Valley College in Michigan to play next weekend.
Northridge, the champion of the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., finished its season with a record of 20-10. This was Northridge's third trip to the NCAA tournament and the Matadors have yet to advance past the regionals.
Harris, who was selected as the regional's Most Valuable Player, finished with 18 points, 15 in the second half.
Hayward trailed by as many as eight points, 36-28, early in the second half, but rallied with eight unanswered points in a span of 2:33 to tie the score. The Pioneers didn't take their first lead until only 2:41 remained in the game, as Harris hit an 18-footer to make it, 47-46.
Forward Cye Adams also had 18 points for Hayward, 10 in the second half.
Northridge (20-10), was led in scoring by guard Mike Almeido who had 13 points, while forward Dale Brandsberg added 11.
Almeido and forward Larry White made the all-regional team for Northridge.