Caulin Bakalarski poured in 33 points — including seven 3-pointers — to help the Walla Walla men to an 87-73 victory Saturday over Lower Columbia in the semifinals of the NWAC Tournament.
The Warriors, who are in the title game for the first time since 1982, will play Tacoma at 5:15 p.m. Sunday at Everett Community College. The Titans advanced with a 79-74 win over Umpqua.
Walla Walla was making a Final Four appearance for the first time since 2007. The Warriors won back-to-back NWAC titles in 1978-79, but none since then.
WWCC scored 57 of their points from the 3-point line, hitting 19 of 42 shots (45 percent). Gabe Porter (Walla Walla High School) added five from beyond the arc, while Dalton Thompson had four and Landon Radliff (Richland) three.
Radliff finished with 21 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Porter added 17 points and Thompson 14 and seven rebounds.
The Warriors led 37-31 at the half, then went on a 50-42 run in the second half to hold on for the win.
WWCC also force the Red Devils into 15 turnovers, which it turned into 13 points.
Lower Columbia, which shot 52 percent from the floor, was led by Keun Palu-Thompson’s 21 points and seven rebounds. Marcus Lord added 13 points.
LOWER COLUMBIA: Soloman 3, Miller 0, Cotton 10, Sweet 11, Palu-Thompson 21, Cotton-Welch 3, Lord 13, Johnson 12, Naga, Morrow. Totals: 27-52 12-17 73.
WALLA WALLA: B.Porter, Radliff 21, Thompson 14, Bakalarski 33, G.Porter 17, Tiileman, Tiller, Engstrom 2. Totals: 31-69 6-8 87.
Halftime — WWCC 37-31. Highlights — Palu-Thompson 7 rebs; Brandon Cotton 5 assts; Elijah Cotto-Welch 6 rebs; 2 stls; Bakalarski 8 rebs, 3 stls, 3 assts; Radliff 6 assts, 5 rebs; Thompson 7 rebs; G.Porter 3 assts.