By Miguel Lopez
The Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball team overcame the Point Loma Sea Lions in the final seconds of the game on Wednesday to secure a 54-53 victory and blew out the Winona State Warriors 77-50 in Saturday’s home opener.
The Broncos road game against the Sea Lions proved to be a strong defensive performance by both teams, as each team shot below 40 percent from the field.
“That’s why our defense is so good, we are able to overcome offensive nights like we did tonight,” said Head Coach Greg Kamansky.
The Green and Gold made the first basket of the game, but it got off to a slow start after trailing 11-5 in the first minutes of regulation.
CPP fought back in the first half, as it tied the game at 23-23 before halftime.
Throughout the second half, both teams were evenly matched.
In the last minute of the game, the Broncos were trailing 51-47 but kept on fighting till the end.
Senior forward Jordan Faison was the Green and Gold’s hero, as he scored six points in a span of 44 seconds.
“He was awesome, as usual,” said Kamansky. “He’s got to do that for us all year long.”
Faison came in clutch in the final seconds of the game, as he nailed a three-pointer with five seconds left on the shot clock to seal the game with a victory, after receiving a pass from senior guard Barry Bell.
CPP was dominant inside the paint, as it outscored the Sea Lions 36-18.
Senior forward Francois Tchoyi helped CPP put some points in the paint, as he finished the game with 11 points on a 4-for-5 shooting night.
“Tchoyi is really taking steps forward from last year,” said Kamansky. “He is being a scorer and a guy that can finish underneath the basket for us. Jordan obviously is the main [guy] for us inside too. We got a one-two combo inside.”
The Green and Gold finished the game shooting 39.3 percent and held its opponents to 36 percent.
“For being such a young team and not panicking, that’s the biggest thing I am proud of,” said Kamansky. “Our upperclassmen are really carrying us, and [our] younger players are getting used to the grind and the physicality at this level.”
The Broncos took their momentum to Saturday’s home opener against the Warriors in front of 412 spectators.
In the first half, CPP put up exceptional numbers, as it shot 73.9 percent from the field and 75 from the three-point line.
“We came out and played hard,” said Kamansky. “Tonight was a great confidence boost for us.”
The Green and Gold got off to a quick start in the first minutes of the game, as it led 9-0. Freshman guard Jordan Ogundiran played outstanding in the first half, as he was 5-for-5 from the three-point line and finished the game with 15 points.
In the last 10 minutes of the game, the Broncos went on a 30-11 run, as Ogundiran nailed a three-pointer with two seconds left on the shot clock to head into halftime with a 46-21 lead.
CPP continued to be on the attack in the second half, as it went on a 14-4 run in the first five minutes.
Junior guard Quentin Taylor was 4-for-4 from the field in the second half. Taylor finished the game efficiently, as he had a total of 17 points after going 7-for-9 from the field.
The Greens and Gold continued playing strong defense for the remainder of the game to secure the victory.
Bell was productive both on offense and defense, after finishing the game with 10 points, eight assists and five steals.
“Barry is the leader and the heart and soul of our team,” said Kamansky. “He was last year, and he is this year. When he makes shots, I think he is one of the best players in the conference. I think he is the best defensive player in the conference.”
Faison had another strong performance, after finishing up with 13 points on 6-for-9 from the field and getting three blocks.
The Broncos finished the game shooting 63.3 percent from the field and 61.1 percent from the three-point line.
“As a coach, I am happy that we share the ball,” said Kamansky. “We had 21 assists, which is magnificent.”
Courtesy of Bronco Athletics
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