Men’s basketball fell to the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes in a 94-95 overtime thriller on Saturday night.
The loss pushed the Broncos’ overall record to 13-5 and 9-4 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference.
Senior guard William Christmas had a huge night with 31 points, along with six rebounds and five assists.
“We had a lot of heart but we didn’t execute down the stretch at the end of regulation and/or at the end of overtime, so that’s a very disappointing loss,” head coach Greg Kamansky said.
“They made some big plays. Their guard is really good and he took the game over, and we didn’t dig in defensively quite enough and we let them get a number of offensive rebounds.”
The Broncos got things going early in the first half with back-to-back baskets. Minutes later, senior guard Nikhil Peters’ 3-pointer was huge for the Broncos as it gave them a 10-2 run.
After a slow start, the Coyotes answered with consecutive baskets that brought them back within two points of the Broncos.
Midway through the first half, the Broncos continued with the hot hand as senior guard/forward Riley Schaefer followed his 3-pointer with a layup that gave them a 10-point lead. Despite the Broncos’ strong offensive play, the Coyotes quickly turned around and put up a 5-0 run that cut down the deficit.
“I think we could have gotten crucial stops; we just didn’t get the big stop we needed,” Schaefer said.
“My teammates put me in good spots, for me to have the amount of points I did, I was able to move without the ball. I have really good point guards on my team, and they are really good at giving me the ball at the spots where they know I can be effective, and I was able to score on that end.”
Minutes later, Christmas ended the Coyotes’ hopes of a comeback with huge back-to-back 3-pointers that gave them a 30-21 lead with six minutes and 59 seconds on the clock. As the clock wound down, the Broncos continued to make shots, and in the final two minutes, Schaefer once again hit a 3-pointer that gave them a 14-point lead. With less than a minute left in the first half, the Coyotes were able to hit a couple shots that cut down the Broncos’ lead by nine going into the half.
“I thought I played solid,” Christmas said. “Obviously didn’t do enough for us to get the win; I missed a free-throw or two down the stretch, but we just have to carry it into the next game, and hopefully we can get a win.”
To start the second half, the Coyotes put on a basketball clinic as the team went on a 13-2 run that gave them the lead by two.
Despite the attempts from Christmas with multiple jumpers, the Coyotes continued with the hot hand and midway through the second half had a 5-point lead.
As the clock wound down, both teams exchanged shots and kept it a close game. With five minutes on the clock, Christmas and junior guard BJ Standley hit consecutive shots that gave the Broncos a 67-60 lead.
In the final minutes, the Coyotes’ fast breaks paid dividends, as they were able to tie the game and send it to overtime.
In overtime, the game was close until the Coyotes, down by two with three seconds on the clock, hit a 3-pointer to seal the win 95-94.
The Broncos will return home to take on San Francisco State at Kellogg Arena at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30.