The Lancers (32-2) got 18 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and three steals from Diaz as they beat their Pacific West Conference rivals for the fourth time in three weeks, including the second time in overtime. The Riverside, Calif., program also stretched its winning streak to 29 games as forwards Courtney Nelson and Tori Mitchell added 12 points apiece and combined for 14 rebounds.
The Sea Lions (24-6) were led by junior forward Roya Rustamzada’s monster stat line of 21 points, 18 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals, while Alex Brunk also delivered a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
Cal Baptist – the 2015 West Region champion and national runner-up – led by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but Point Loma rallied within 35-33 at halftime and scored the first four points of the second half.
The Lancers took control again, however, and led 68-63 when Diaz swished a three-pointer at the 2:27 mark of regulation. Kassidy Gengenbacher answered inside with 1:14 left for the Sea Lions, and the senior followed with a key steal against Diaz with 14 seconds showing. Rustamzada was then fouled on a three-point try with six seconds showing and made all three charities for the tie.
Diaz missed a shot to win it with a short jumper at the end of regulation, but the all-conference performer nailed another trey to put her team ahead for good, 73-72, early in the extra session.
The Lancers advance to play 3rd-seeded Western Washington (26-5) in Saturday’s first regional semifinal at 5 p.m. AST.