By Christian Cataldo
The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team returned to Kellogg Gym this weekend, beating Humboldt State 81-79 in a double overtime thriller, and Cal State San Bernardino 66-54. CPP’s overall record is now 13-4, and 9-3 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.
The Broncos began the weekend facing off against the Humboldt State Jacks’ high powered offense for Friday’s Military Appreciation Night.
“It means everything [to me],” said junior forward Jordan Faison about playing for Military Appreciation night. “Those guys put their lives on the line for us every day”and I’m just thankful.”
Head coach Greg Kamansky agrees.
“They do a great service for this country and [we were] happy to have them here tonight,” said Kamansky.
Coming into the game, the Jacks’ offense stood above all other teams in the CCAA, as they ranked first in points-per-game, field goal percentage and three-pointers. The Broncos, on the other hand, have the number one ranked defense in the nation in Division II basketball.
The first half was a back-and-fourth battle, as the lead for either team never stretched above five points. The Broncos’ stingy defense held the Jacks to a 35.5 field goal percentage, and forced five turnovers.
Humboldt State also showed some defensive prowess in the first half, as they forced CPP to turn the ball over seven times. They converted 10 points off those turnovers.
The Broncos pounded 16 points in the paint, while the Jacks found another way to score through three-pointers.
The game went into the half deadlocked, 31-31.
Senior guard Austin Bryan gave Humboldt State a quick spark, dropping three three-pointers in less than two minutes.
“Our rotations were messed up, and early [in the] second half we just stuck our hand out at him,” said Kamansky.
The Broncos fought their way back, but Bryan kept his team ahead with his lights-out shooting.
With 43 seconds left in the game, CPP found themselves down by eight points. Senior guard Jordan Finn brought the lead down to five with a quick three-pointer, leaving 32 seconds left on the clock.
After a few missed free-throws by the Jacks, the Broncos brought the lead down to three with eight seconds left.
CPP’s defense forced a big turnover on the Jack’s inbound, giving them a chance to tie the game. Faison got the ball behind the arc, where he pump-faked a defender and rose up to knock down the game-tying basket.
“In the beginning of the year, we played UC San Diego, and I had that same shot from the same spot, [and] I was like, I can’t miss it twice,” said Faison.
Quickly after Faison’s basket, Drisdom jumped in front of the Jacks’ inbound. He rose up for the game-winning shot, but it rattled out.
In the first overtime, both teams were visibly fatigued: most of the half’s points for both teams came from free-throws. As they both struggled to score, one overtime wasn’t enough to decide a winner.
Both teams continued to struggle from the field in the second overtime, but CPP came out on top with a two-point victory.
Faison and Drisdom’s double-doubles led the Broncos. Faison finished with 21 points and 12 boards, and Drisdom finished with 15 points and 13 boards.
CPP finished their weekend at home against Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday.
The Broncos struggled to maintain possession of the ball in the first half, committing 12 turnovers. But the team forced the Coyotes to commit nine of their own.
CPP attacked the basket, and scored 22 points in the paint. At the half, the Broncos were up 38-23. Drisdom led CPP with 14 points and four steals.
The Broncos continued to turn the ball over in the second half, as the Coyotes forced 11 points. But CPP’s defense didn’t allow the Coyotes to fully capitalize on the turnovers.
The Broncos maintained the lead throughout the second half, leading to another win for CPP. Drisdom led the Broncos with 25 points, six rebounds, and seven steals.
CPP will stay at Kellogg Gym next weekend, as they take on Cal State Monterey Bay for the Coaches versus Cancer game on Friday, and Cal State East Bay on Saturday.
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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