Huge season leads to March Madness

By Elliot Heis

Cal Poly’s men’s basketball team begins postseason play tonight
against Cal State Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m. in Kellogg Gym.

The Broncos finished the regular season with big wins over Cal
State Monterey Bay, 79-46 and San Francisco State 77-54.

The wins increased the Broncos’ winning streak to a school
record 13 and clinched the CCAA title for the second straight year;
a feat never done in program history.

“NCAA is the big picture,” Broncos head coach Greg Kamansky
said. “At this point its rest and recovery gearing ourselves up for
the next couple of tournaments.”

Tonight’s game kicks off the CCAA Tournament before the
semifinals and finals, which will be hosted by Humboldt State on
Friday and Saturday.

The last time the Broncos played Cal State Los Angeles was Feb.
19, when Cal Poly easily won by 14 points.

The Broncos have gained momentum throughout the second half of
the season, just as they did last year.

Between this and last season, Cal Poly is 21-0 in the second
half of conference play.

The conference title was celebrated after the game emotionally
by the players, including seniors Dahir Nasser and Austin Swift,
who finished up their final regular season with the Broncos.

“It’s what you’re measured on,” said Nasser. “Wherever I go it’s
my goal to win championships.”

The players relished in a season of hard work which ended with a
20-5 record, 18-4 in CCAA play.

“It feels good to win and get the championship,” said Swift.
“It’s why we spent the summer here.”

The Broncos’ performance in the CCAA tournament does not
directly affect their chances in the NCAA rankings, as the West
Regionals are decided by poll.

In the last poll, the Broncos were ranked fourth, in which the
top eight would qualify.

Kamansky was content to enjoy the win before thinking too much
about the next game.

“I enjoy watching my guys celebrate,” Kamansky said. “My
satisfaction is to see it all come together. Its in the record
books for good, nobody can ever take it away.”

In their final game of the regular season, the Broncos opened
the scoring and never looked back, stretching to a 7-0 lead in the
first two minutes. By the end of the first half the game was well
in hand for Cal Poly at 39-22.

Cal Poly had just one extra field goal attempt for the night,
but deadly shooting and great shot selection by the Broncos led to
a 59.6-37.3 discrepancy in field goal percentages.

“We’re playing hard and intense basketball, but we’re playing
smart basketball,” Kamansky said.

The Broncos were spurred on by the home crowd, which broke the
attendance record for the season with 1,367 spectators.

Cal Poly was led by junior forward Donnelle Booker, with a game
high 15 points.

Swift and freshman guard Mitchel Anderson each scored 14 points
and Swift tallied game-highs of seven rebounds and six assists.

The Broncos also had a big performance from their bench with 33
points coming from supporting players. The Gators had just 10 bench
points. Nasser was spurred on by a rare visit from his family.

“It was great to have my family here, as they can’t get to as
many games as they’d like to,” Nasser said. “I’ve won every time
they have come, we should get them to come with us in the
playoffs.”

Against Monterey Bay, shooting percentage again made a big
difference as the Broncos shot 52.6 percent while forcing the Sea
Otters to just 32.7 percent. The Broncos were so accurate that
their 3-point percentage was higher than the Sea Otters field goal
percentage, at 50 percent.

Swift and junior forward Tobias Jahn led the offensive effort
with 15 points each in a balanced effort that saw every player
score.

Booker and sophomore guard Matthew Rosser each scored 12
points.

Reach Elliot Heis at: sports@thepolypost.com

Huge season leads to March Madness

Jonny Tai/Poly Post

Huge season leads to March Madness

Huge season leads to March Madness

Mitchell Saltzman/Poly Post

Huge season leads to March Madness

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