By Mike Norys
One can describe the men’s basketball season with an old cliche:
If you walk by the fire, eventually you are going to get
Unfortunately for the Broncos, they got a little too close to
the fireplace this weekend.
On Saturday, No. 14 Cal Poly (8-2, 4-1) had its seven-game
winning streak snapped in a 68-60 loss to Cal State Monterey Bay in
Seaside. The loss came one night after the streak was still kept
alive on Friday night with a 66-60 win over San Francisco State in
“We talk about playing 40 minutes all year,” said assistant
coach Bill Bannon. “[On Saturday] we weren’t able to do it. In the
first half we struggled and went on a little run and caught up but
then we hit another wall.”
The team’s 8-2 start matches the best-ever mark set by the
Cal Poly has struggled to distance itself from opponents all
season and took a five-point deficit into halftime, which extended
to 11 points with just less than six minutes to go. A late comeback
then fell short.
Sophomore Larry Gordon led the team with 18 points and five
rebounds, while senior Billy Hofman had 16 points on 4-of-9
shooting from behind the 3-point line.
“[Hofman is] a kid who can really score,” Bannon said. “He
hasn’t been asked to that a lot, but we told him this year he had
to shoot the ball. He’s got the green light.”
Senior Dion Cook and junior Kaelen Daniels both contributed with
Cal Poly trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half
before cutting the deficit to five points, 33-28, after a basket by
Cal State Monterey Bay extended its lead to eight points early
in the second half, 36-28, before allowing a 10-0 run by the
Broncos and giving up the advantage with 16:48 to go.
The Otters battled back and opened their biggest lead of the
night, 56-45, with 6:49 remaining.
After a three-point play by Gordon got the Broncos within one,
59-58, with 1:42 to go, Cal State Monterey Bay’s Richard Jenkins
responded with a three-point play of his own to extend the lead
back to 62-58.
Hofman made a jumper with 40 seconds to go to cut the deficit
back to two points, but the Otters made six free throws down the
stretch en route to the victory.
On Friday, Cal Poly defeated San Francisco State, 66-60.
Cook led three Broncos in double figures with 14 points.
“[Cook] is a kid who works hard and leads this team,” Bannon
said. “It’s a team effort but it’s nice to have him out there
leading this team.”
Gordon had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while
Hofman contributed with 11 points.
Freshman Donnelle Booker had nine points and seven rebounds.
Dean Wilson led the Gators with 14 points, knocking down four
The Broncos led nearly the entire game and extended their
halftime lead to nine points, 37-28, after a basket by Booker.
Cal Poly increased its lead to as many as 14 points before
allowing San Francisco State to battle its way back and tie the
game, 57-57, with 3:06 remaining.
A basket by Gordon gave the Broncos the lead, 59-57, and a free
throw by Daniels gave Cal Poly the 60-58 edge. Cook made his next
two free throws, but San Francisco State responded with another
basket to keep it close, 62-60, with 32 seconds to go.
Cal Poly ended the game with two free throws from Hofman and one
each from Cook and Booker to increase the final margin to
The men’s basketball team will return to action this Friday with
a home game against Chico State in Kellogg Gym.
Mike Norys can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or
by phone at (909) 869-4630.
Late Comeback Falls Short
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