By Christian Cataldo
The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team played their first California Collegiate Athletic Association game against the UC San Diego Tritons at Kellogg Gym Saturday. Unfortunately, the Broncos fell 69-66.
CPP came out of the gate sloppy, as the first basket of the game was scored by the Triton’s junior forward Drew Dyer, coming off a Bronco turnover by CPP’s senior guard Daniel Rodriguez.
UCSD got the lead early, and held onto it for the majority of the first half. The Tritons were using off-ball screens and handoffs at the top of the key to get uncontested shots against the Broncos’ zone defense.
Out of the 11 field goals for the Tritons in the first half, seven of them were from behind the arc.
The Broncos fought back against the three-point shooting Tritons by dominating the inside. They scored 18 points in the paint, compared to UCSD’s four.
With just over two minutes left in the first half, CPP captured their first lead of the game coming off a steal and layup from senior guard Terrence Drisdom, leaving the UCSD defender behind.
With just a few seconds left in the half, UCSD freshman guard Grant Jackson drove into the lane and drew a foul. He converted on both attempts and tied up the game.
At the half, the score was 34-34.
Drisdom led the Broncos with his 10 points and three steals, while Dyer led the Tritons with nine points and four rebounds.
CPP continued to struggle, protecting the ball in the second half as their first two possessions resulted in turnovers.
UCSD continued to give the Broncos a hard time with their ball movement at the top of the key.
With 10 minutes left in the game, the Tritons went on a nine-zero run, coming off three consecutive three-pointers.
After a media timeout, head coach Greg Kamansky switched to a full court trap. This resulted in the Broncos holding the Tritons scoreless for five minutes.
“We get down by double digits late in the game [and] all of a sudden we decide we want to get after it a little bit,” said Kamansky. “We need to bring that energy without having to trap all the time.”
This spurred an 11-0 run, putting CPP down by only two points with less than a minute to go in the game.
“We’re big, athletic, long and we just try to cause havoc [because] we face a lot of shorter guards,” said Drisdom on the effectiveness of their trap defense.
After an intentional foul, the Broncos were down by three with five seconds left in the game.
Drisdom sprinted up the court but was fouled by a Triton player, preventing him from making a three-pointer.
After Drisdom drained the first free throw, Kamansky called a timeout.
Kamansky told his players to go for a tip in after an intentional missed free throw by Drisdom. But CPP was unable to secure the ball after the miss, forcing them to intentionally foul again.
UCSD made one of their two free throws, giving the Broncos another chance to make up for being down by three points with only two seconds left in the game.
CPP threw a full court pass off the inbound to junior forward Jordan Faison. Faison leaped above the UCSD defender to grab the ball, turned around as the Triton defender fell and took the open three-pointer.
The ball rattled out, giving the Tritons the three point win by a score of 69-66.
“We had our chances but again, [UC] San Diego played well,” said Kamansky. “I give them credit.”
Drisdom led the Broncos with 20 points, four assists and three steals. Sophomore guard Aleks Lipovic led the Tritons with 15 points and one steal.
When asked about what areas need improvement moving forward in the season, Drisdom replied, “Defense. [We] got a long way to go with defense, communication [and] having heart in general.
“We didn’t really show anything tonight, to be honest, and I feel like this team could be really good if we all just give in to the program and we all just give in to what we’re supposed to do, but it starts with defense,” said Drisdom.
The Broncos continue a five game home stand Tuesday against The master’s College. The last game of the home stand will be Saturday against point Loma.
Chris Maciosek / The Poly Post
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