By Bryan Stauffer
Behind its stingy top-ranked defense, the fifth-ranked Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team cruised to a 24-point victory over Cal State Stanislaus Thursday night and superseded that with a 89-76 victory over Chico State on Saturday en route to its eighth consecutive win.
The Warriors entered play as the third-best offense in the CCAA averaging 72.0 PPG, but shot only 36.7 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from the 3-point line in their 69-45 loss to the Broncos.
Despite being outrebounded 36-31 and allowing multiple open looks from the field, head coach Greg Kamansky thought the Broncos did enough on the defensive end to merit the victory as they won by their largest margin of the season.
“This team definitely relies on our defense,” said Kamansky. “My assistants came up with a good game plan and our kids stuck to it and executed.”
The Broncos played some of their best offensive basketball of the year as their 69 points topped their season average.
Four players scored in double digits including Mitchel Anderson, Barry Bell, Bryce Brady and DeRonn Scott, who combined for 47 of the Broncos’ 69 points.
Although CPP’s offense appeared flawless in its approach, Kamansky said they were a little shocked the Warriors did not defend in a zone defense as they had anticipated.
“They played zone against us the first game up there at Stanislaus and they really held us in check offensively in the first half,” said Kamansky. “They came out in man [to man defense] and I think they wanted to speed the game up some, because I think they’ve been scoring a lot more recently.”
The Broncos trailed 9-5 in the opening five minutes of the first half, but failed to surrender the lead for the remainder of the game.
At the 3-minute mark in the first half, CPP had increased its lead to 14 behind back to back three’s from senior standout Mitchel Anderson who said it felt good to get into a rhythm Thursday.
“I’ve been through a couple rough games lately,” said Anderson. “It feels good to watch the balls go in, but I just got to keep shooting and keep my energy up and do whatever it takes to win.”
The Broncos maintained their lead early in the second half behind back to back 3-point conversions from Bryce Brady, but the Warriors fought back to bring the score to 52-41 as they went on a 10-4 run over a five minute stretch.
However, over the games remaining seven minutes, CPP put together its own string of baskets and closed the game out on a 17-4 run.
The Broncos had eight players score at least four points; among them were unsung heroes like Mohamed Fall, Jordan Faison and Ryan Hall who combined to give CPP quality post play and outscore the Warriors 30-18 in the paint.
“It makes it easier for everybody to trust each other out there when everybody can score,” said Anderson. “It makes you feel comfortable out there.”
One player who came alive Thursday night was Bell, who played his best game since Dec. 8 against Bethesda when he scored 14 points. Bell finished with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists; he was one of five Broncos to record three assists.
“I feel like we’re coming together as a team more and more each game,” said Bell. “We’re getting better on the offensive end every game.”
With their victory over fellow defensive stronghold Chico State on Saturday, the Broncos will begin a two game road trip against Cal State San Bernardino on Friday and UC San Diego on Saturday.
Brittany Ritzi/The Poly Post
Ashford Ball/The Poly Post
Show Comments (0)