3-Pointers Take Toll on Toros, 64-61

UC Riverside made 7 of its first 10 shots from three-point range Thursday night and held on to beat scrappy Cal State Dominguez Hills, 64-61.

The loss darkened the already dim hopes of Dominguez Hills (10-13 overall), which desperately needed a win to remain in contention for the fourth and final postseason playoff berth in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. Now the Toros (4-7) must win all three remaining conference games and hope three opponents for the final spot, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona and Chapman, stumble.

Riverside (19-5 overall) moved to 8-3 in the CCAA and into second place, a half game ahead of idle Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Led by Julius Thomas, who made three long baskets in the first 15 minutes, UCR showed why it leads the CCAA in three-point shooting. The Highlanders, who average 50% on the year, led by 10 points in the first half despite the fact that guard Maurice Pullman went scoreless in the game. In three games last week Pullman hit 15 of 30 three-point tries and established a conference record for most three-point scores in a season.


The only three-point attempt by Dominguez Hills, with four seconds left by center Anthony Blackmon, fell short.

Dominguez Hills opened the second period by outscoring Riverside, 10-3. Barry Johnson’s rebound and basket with 14 minutes to go gave the Toros their only lead of the game, 40-38.

Riverside regained the lead, 47-42 on back-to-back three-pointers by guards Chris Jackson and Kevin Partington.

Dominguez Hills clawed to within two points several times, but a pair of mid-court steals that led to lay-ins for guard Jimmy Shorter gave Riverside a six-point edge with 5:25 left.

A pair of steals caused by a Dominguez Hills press led to baskets, and Riverside’s inability to shoot free throws in the final two minutes let Dominguez Hills get back in contention again.