The men’s basketball team started strong and never looked back Thursday in a 73- 57 win over Chico State University at Kellogg Arena.
Cal Poly Pomona came into the matchup against Chico State with a four-game winning streak and continued its surge of dominance in a solid, all-around team performance from start to finish.
The Broncos were led by senior forward Justin Young, who finished with 16 points, three rebounds and a steal on a spectacular 7-for-8 shooting.
“I just came out with the mindset that we needed to win and that I needed to come out and play as hard as I can to help the team win,” Young said.“We just have to continue to work hard and play every game like it’s our last, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Young was not the only one who put on a show for the home crowd.
Senior guard William Christmas, the team’s leading scorer at 16.4 points per game, torched the Chico State defense, ending the game with 15 points, six assists and two steals.
Junior guard BJ Standley added 11 points, five assists and two steals to help his team earn its fifth straight win and help the Broncos move to an 18-5 record on the season and 14-4 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play.
Junior guard Mason Dickerson added eight points on 3-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from the 3-point line.
“Our main focus is continuing to maintain a high energy level and to keep getting better every practice and game, so when postseason comes we’ll be playing our best basketball,” Dickerson said.
Head coach Greg Kamansky was very pleased with his team’s performance that night, but acknowledged that the team still has work cut out for them.
“Physicality and competitiveness are what we stressed against a tall team like Chico State, and we wore them down. Our long-term goal is always to get (to) the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tournament and compete against these high-level teams. We got to be more efficient on offense and it’s about making the little improvements until the end of the season,” Kamansky said.
The Broncos shot the ball well and played solid defense; as a team they shot 53% from the field and had 12 steals.
In a game that saw the Broncos dominate from start to finish, the win was a result of a collective effort on defense and solid ball movement, as well as a relentless pursuit to get rebounds.
The victory against Chico State was a glimpse of just how good the Broncos can be as a team.
The home team scored 24 points off of Chico State turnovers and outscored its opponent 38-26 in the paint, although it was obvious Chico State had the size advantage.
The Broncos are showing that their path to the NCAA tournament is a real possibility.
Although they lack size, the team does not back down from anyone on defense.
Senior guard Nikhil Peters was an anchor on defense, standing his ground and making his presence known against the taller opponents.
The Broncos are currently in third place in the CCAA standings, with Chico State sitting just behind CPP in fourth place.
The men’s basketball team has four games left in league play, with each game being a chance to improve and gain momentum heading into the CCAA tournament.
The next home game for the Broncos will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kellogg Arena against California State University, East Bay.