Men’s basketball splits conference opener

Men’s basketball kicked off the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference with an unfortunate 70-72 loss against the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes on Thursday night at Kellogg Arena.

The loss pushed the Broncos’ overall record to 2-2 and 0-1 in the CCAA conference.

“The guys played hard. We had chances to win; that’s all we can do, get ourselves in positions to win games,” head coach Greg Kamansky said. “We had chances but we didn’t follow through on it unfortunately.”

Phoenix Shackelford made a total of 11 points during Thursday’s game against Cal State San Bernardino. (Courtesy of Ben Andereson)

Despite the loss, senior guard William Christmas had 22 points along with 13 rebounds, eight assists, six steals and two blocks. 

Junior guard Phoenix Shackelford had 11 points and senior guard/forward Riley Schaefer had 10 points, as they joined Christmas as the only Broncos with double-figures in scoring. 

The Broncos shot 41.3% (26 for 63) of the balls from the field.

Early in the first half, the Broncos came out hot and with their first possession, Schaefer nailed a 3-pointer. 

The Coyotes quickly answered with a 3-pointer of their own and a jumper that gave them the lead. 

Minutes later, both teams struggled offensively and were not able to score a basket for several minutes.

That changed and the Broncos went on a 9-4 run that gave them their largest lead of the game. 

The Coyotes quickly turned it around, switching their 5-point deficit into a 1-point lead with three minutes and 36 seconds left on the clock.

With the first half coming to an end, both teams continued shooting the ball from the field. And as the clock wound down, junior guard BJ Standley drove into the paint and scored the last basket of the half that gave the Broncos the lead.

To start the second half, the Broncos picked up where they left off in the first half and back-to-back baskets gave them a 7-point lead.

 The first basket came thanks to a jumper by Schaefer, who was followed by senior forward Justin Young with a dunk.

“I felt like I played awful, so I have to work on being more efficient and get to my spots better. And as a team, I think we can definitely clean up the glass more and get more second-chance points,” Schaefer said.

Even though the Broncos got off to a hot start, the Coyotes went on a 7-0 run to tie the game. 

Seconds later, Christmas gave the Broncos the lead once again after nailing a 3-pointer.

Both teams continued exchanging shots and for five minutes of the match the game was close, until with eight minutes and 15 seconds on the clock, Christmas once again hit a 3-pointer that gave the Broncos a 5-point lead. 

The Coyotes right away responded with a 9-2 run that gave them a 57-55 lead with five minutes left to play.

During the final two minutes, the game got interesting as both teams exchanged shots that had the Coyotes leading with less than a minute to play. 

With the game on the line, Shackelford hit a jumper that tied it up. Seconds later, the Coyotes missed a jumper that gave the Broncos one last possession, but Christmas missed the game-winning shot and sent the game into overtime.

“I got the shot up top, I got the switch and the shot I wanted and was able to get to the rim,” Christmas said. “I thought I got fouled, but the referee did not make the call …. So I thought it was a good look, but sometimes you make some and you miss some.”

In overtime, with three consecutive 3-pointers, the Coyotes were able to pull away with the win.

On Saturday, the Broncos traveled to Seaside and beat the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters, 93-70. 

The Broncos were efficient shooting the ball all night, as they shot 54% from the field. 

Christmas led the Broncos in scoring with 28 points, followed by Schaefer who chipped in with 20.

The Broncos return to action Friday, Nov. 29 in San Bernardino when they take on University of Saint Katherine from San Marcos.

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