By Enrique Cervantes
The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team returned to action after two weeks off, hosting the Chico State Wildcats and the Cal State Stanislaus Warriors at Kellogg Gym in key California Collegiate Athletic Association match-ups.
The Broncos fell to the Wildcats 51-50, and defeated the Warriors 60-57.
The win not only moves the Broncos to 8-3, 4-2 CCAA, but it always was head coach Greg Kamansky’s 300th career win. Kamansky has a 300-120 record for his tenure at CPP, giving him a winning percentage of .714.
Prior to playing the Wildcats, the Broncos were on a four-game winning streak, defeating Cal State East Bay, Cal State Monterey Bay, Bristol, and UC San Diego.
Against Chico State, the Broncos have been known to endure a hard fought game, working hard for every bucket. The first half of that game was just like that, similar to a boxing match.
“The skill is not as quite as great as it’s been,” said Kamansky. “But they kind of replaced with big, bulky, heavy guys that’ll knock you down a little bit. And we have to make the adjustment to that.
“Right now, we’re getting used to the physicality, and if we keep moving forward on that, we’ll be successful.”
From out of the gate, the Broncos were clear that they wanted to work inside, feeding the ball to junior forward Jordan Faison. Their defense appeared to be locked in as well, forcing Chico State to take shots late in the shot clock.
The game had a very slow start, indicating that it was going to be a low-scoring affair.
Near the halfway point of the game, the Wildcats held an 8-7 lead.
“We played well defensively, there’s no doubt about it,” said Kamansky. “That was one of our better defensive games of the year.”
Both teams began showing an offensive spark in the final minutes of the half.
A big three-pointer from freshman guard Daylan Lawrence and quick shots from senior guard Terrence Drisdom put the Broncos up 19-12. However, poor perimeter defense allowed the Wildcats to sink two three-pointers to close the half.
“At this point there is no more excuses,” said Drisdom. “I’ve been in season for three months, I’m as good as I’m gonna be.”
The second half opened badly for the Broncos, as Chico State scored the first nine points of the half, getting points off turnovers and quick fast breaks. A three-pointer from senior guard Jordan Finn allowed the Broncos to regain some momentum.
Both teams appeared to be playing an entirely different game in the second half, the offenses coming alive and quickly exchanging baskets. A big slam dunk from senior forward Chad Haysbert sparked the Broncos and the home crowd.
From there, both teams showed their physical side, fighting for rebounds and loose balls on almost every possession. Drisdom began to take over for the Broncos, handling the ball every time they had possession and working inside with Faison.
“It takes all of us,” said Drisdom. “If we show up to play the right way and show up at the beginning, then we usually end up winning games.”
After clutch free throws from Faison and a big three-pointer from Drisdom, the score was 51-50, in favor of the Wildcats. Chico would miss an open layup, leaving the Broncos the last chance to score with just 17 seconds remaining.
Kamansky called a timeout, setting up the play. Drisdom worked the ball upcourt, but things seemed to clamp up in the middle, allowing Drisdom no room . The Broncos guard heaved up a last second shot, only to have it miss off the rim.
“We had Terrence coming off a double screen and he wasn’t open, and Jordan went to go ball screen and was wide open cause his man stayed,” said Kamansky.
“Unfortunately, Terrence made the wrong decision. We had our chances, but it didn’t happen tonight.”
Drisdom finished as the team’s leading scorer, tallying 20 points. The loss dropped the Broncos to 7-3, with a 3-2 CCAA record.
On Saturday, the Broncos were back in action as they took on another conference opponent, CSU Stanislaus.
CPP seemed to be more focused on the offensive side, jumping out to a quick seven point lead.
Despite the Warriors making runs, the Broncos never gave up the lead, going on their own runs to keep the lead in their favor.
The Broncos closed out the half with a three-point lead, 27-24.
The first part of the second half had the Broncos keeping their lead, having to deal with the Warriors continuing to fight back.
CPP, however, lost the lead with about three minutes left, Stanislaus gaining a four-point lead, their largest lead of the game.
After a timeout and free throws by Drisdom, the Broncos were able to preserve their lead and escape with the win, 60-57.
This game was another indication on how tough the CCAA is.
“We don’t have a high margin of room for error,” said Kamansky. “One point here, one point there, changes seasons. Every game is going to be like that.”
Drisdom led the Broncos again with 22 points and eight rebounds.
After the game, Kamansky was honored at center court for his 300th win, and was given a team picture labeled with a congratulations from Bronco Athletics.
The Broncos will remain at home this week, with their annual Pack the Stands Night on Friday against San Francisco State, followed by Sonoma State on Saturday.
Stephen Acosta / The Poly Post
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