Broncos open season with wins at Kellogg Gym

By Christian Cataldo

The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball season is officially underway.

Before the 2014-15 season tipped off, the Broncos faced two nationally ranked Division I schools, taking on No. #26 Stanford and No. #2 Arizona in exhibition games.

The Broncos took Stanford down to the wire on Nov.6, as they missed a three pointer as time expired to even the score up, resulting in a loss by only three points, 79-76.

Arizona was also tested by CPP as the Broncos came out strong and led early. In the Nov. 9 game, the Wildcats eventually regained the lead and went on to win with a score of 67-51.

The Broncos came home to Kellogg Gym to face Westmont for their season opener on Friday, winning 85-62.

CPP’s defense came up big as they scored 33 points off of turnovers.

CPP was locked in right from tipoff, with a 22-0 run to start the game.

Head coach Greg Kamansky had his team come out in a 3-2 zone, which had the Warriors taking contested shots and turning the ball over. The Broncos’ rotations on defense were quick, leaving the Westmont players flustered and scoreless until six minutes into the game.

The Broncos dominated as they scored 22 points in the paint, compared to Westmont’s two. They also scored 24 points off turnovers, opposed to Westmont’s five.

The Broncos went into the half 46-25, with senior guards Terrence Drisdom and Daniel Rodriguez leading the team with 12 points each.

CPP continued to dominate as they scored 18 points in the paint in the second half, and allowed zero points on the defensive side.

As CPP coasted to their first victory of the season, junior guard Rhon Mitchell drove to the lane, rose above a Westmont defender and delivered a monstrous dunk. Later in the game with .40 seconds left, Mitchell found freshmen guard Daylan Lawrence for the alley-oop.The Broncos went on to win, 85-62.

Rodriguez led the Broncos in scoring with 21 points.

CPP returned to action against Azusa Pacific on Saturday, winning 81-78.

The Broncos found themselves in a hard fought battle, as two halves weren’t enough to determine a winner. As the game went into overtime, the Broncos responded in a clutch situation.

APU created open shots with their dribble penetration, forcing the defense to collapse in the paint. This left APU shooters open at the top of the arc, giving them uncontested shots.

The Broncos held a four point lead with four minutes to go in the half, but APU responded with a 10-0 run to end the first half. CPP went into the half down 35-41.

“We were on our heels,” said Kamansky on APU’s dribble penetration. “We were missing some rotations, and our top guys had a lot of work to do up there in our zone.”

The Broncos came out the second half, and contained the Azusa guards.

“We’re playing a good basketball team,” said Kamansky. “You want to gamble and get steals, we had 24 turnovers last night [but] it’s a different team.”

It was a scrappy half as both teams were diving and fighting for every loose ball. APU held off the Broncos with an 11 point lead with just five minutes left in the game.

After a timeout, Kamansky implemented a half-court trap, forcing the APU players into rushed shots and turnovers. CPP held APU on 71 points for the remainder of the half.

Drisdom hit a rhythm, scoring 13 points and getting four steals in the second half. After a steal by Drisdom, CPP had the ball to take the last shot of the half. Drisdom’s floater in the lane missed, forcing the game to go into overtime.

Drisdom and Mitchell scored all of CPP’s points in overtime, scoring five each,

With 0.9 seconds left in the game, Mitchell hit two clutch free throws to give his team a three point lead. APU called a timeout to set up their last shot of the game, but CPP’s defense forced them to take a shot after the buzzer.

“[Coach] told me to just keep being aggressive,” said Drisdom. “I was just trying to get the ball in my hands at the end because Coach really wants me to do that, [but] we ran plays just trying to get open in general to get good shots.”

The Broncos won the overtime thriller and moves to an overall record of 2-0 on the season.

The Broncos return to Kellogg Gym on Saturday to face UC San Diego for their first conference game.

Men

Stephen Acosta / The Poly Post

Men’s basketball

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