Men’s basketball fought off a late run from Stanislaus State Thursday evening to earn themselves a 65-56 win and extend its winning streak to 10 games.
Junior guard Riley Schaefer led the team with 15 points, 10 of which came in the first half as he shot 5 of 6 from the field for the night.
“We’re just locked in right now as a team on both sides of the floor,” Schaefer said. “It makes everything easier when you’re getting stops and taking care of the ball and everyone is sharing it.”
It was a sluggish start for Cal Poly Pomona in the opening minutes as they went 1-for-6 from the field and allowed the Warriors to take a 4-point lead.
The Broncos got back on defense and senior guard Jordan Ogundiran looked to ignite his teammates as he yelled for them to “wake up.”
CPP forced a turnover which led to a wide open three for junior guard Nikhil Peters on the other end.
“At this point in the season every game is like a playoff game,” Peters said. “No one is going to play loose. Everyone is going to play us tight so when Jordan was screaming at us to wake up, it kind of got everyone’s motor going. We knew we had to pick it up on defense and then the rest of the game was going to come to us.”
Midway through the first half, Ogundiran found his way into the paint and launched the ball to Finn Eckhardt who knocked down the corner three and gave the Broncos a 9-point lead.
Things continued to click for the Broncos offensively. With the shot clock winding down, Ogundiran blew past his defender and pulled up and knocked down the mid-range jumper.
With one minute remaining in the first, sophomore guard Phoenix Shackelford hit junior guard William Christmas with a nice bounce pass as he kissed it off the glass for an easy two.
After the slow start, CPP ended the first half shooting 50 percent from the field all while holding its opponent to 20 percent shooting.
Three minutes into the second half, the Broncos had their largest lead at 20 points.
Junior forward Justin Young sealed his defender under the basket as he spun around and slammed the ball down for the one-handed jam.
The Warriors would not go away without a fight. A three from Darius Scott, who had 24 in the second half to cut the lead to 12.
Holding onto an 8-point lead, CPP got a little sloppy with a turnover on one end and a foul on the other end which put Scott on the line for three shots.
He knocked down all three and the Warriors cut the deficit to five with four minutes remaining.
“I just told the guys that we were still up five and not down, so don’t panic,” coach Greg Kamansky said. “We executed enough, had a good enough lead and we just played solid in the end and hit the shots we needed to.”
The Broncos kept their composure and closed out the game on a 6-2 run to secure the win at home.
“We just stayed together,” Schaefer said. “We’ve been in a lot of close situations over the last couple of years so we just stay together and no one panics which is the big thing.”
The team improved to 17-5 overall and 15-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Peters was the second leading scorer for the Broncos with 12 points shooting 4-for-4 from the field while both junior forward Dwight Ramos and Ogundiran finished with seven points.
The Broncos will look to finish the season strong with just two games remaining in conference play.
“Knowing that this team can win back-to-back championships is special,” Peters said. “Not everyone gets a chance to do that so it’d be great to do that with these guys and make a run in the playoffs and get as far as we can.”
Cal Poly Pomona will host Cal State Dominguez Hills on Thursday and Cal State San Bernardino Saturday evening. Both games are set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
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