By Brynn Sherbert, Nov. 16, 2021

On Nov. 12, the CPP men’s basketball team returned to Kellogg Arena to competed against No. 21 ranked Seattle Pacific University, winning 75-71 on the first day of the Conference Crossover Challenge.

The Broncos were eager to step on the court again after not competing for 615 days due to the pandemic. CPP last suffered a 76-62 loss to UC San Diego in the CCAA Tournament final on March 7, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020-21 season. 

Senior guard Tavian Henderson notched the Broncos’ first points of the season with a layup, tying the game 2-2 in the first quarter. Henderson and senior guard Phoenix Shackelford, two returners on the roster, are the team’s only players who had seen the court under Head Coach Greg Kamansky. 

According to Kamansky, the Broncos made a point to maintain dominant control of the ball throughout the game against the Falcons. 

“Setting the tempo of the game was key to our victory,” Kamansky said. “With a very good team like Seattle Pacific University, we cannot turn the ball over and make mistakes. We did a great job with our shooting selection and transitioning the ball.”  

The team huddles around its coach during halftime. (Courtesy of Lyle Ibarra)

CPP led the game 38-33 at halftime with a 53.3 shooting percentage from the floor. 

After a strong first half, the Broncos picked up the pace right away as top scorer, Shackelford, continued to apply pressure on the opposing team with aggressive offensive strategies. 

A member of the team since 2017, Shackelford led the team with a career high of 24 points eight rebounds, four assists and three steals to help the Broncos defeat the Falcons. 

“It was a great win against Seattle Pacific University,” Shackelford said. “A lot of my teammates experienced their first collegiate basketball game today and I am happy they got a taste of how it feels to win right away.”  

In the second half, the Broncos were down by four at 65-61 with 2:30 remaining. Sophomore forward Tay Aubry-Thomas and Shackelford both scored free throws of their own, creating a two-point game. 

Senior guard Phoenix Shackelford makes a basket for the Broncos. (Courtesy of Lyle Ibarra)

After Shackelford tied the game with a jump shot however, the Falcons retaliated with a jump shot of their own, bringing the game into overtime. Beginning overtime with a three-point play by Shackelford, assisted by Henderson, the Broncos relied heavily on the seniors to lead the team to victory in overtime. 

“As a senior on the team, we hold ourselves to high expectations for this season,” Henderson said. “Our job as a team is to prepare ourselves the best we can in order to put ourselves in a position to win every time we step on the floor.”  

Despite getting out-rebounded by a 45-33 count, the Broncos claimed a 75-71 victory over the Falcons, shooting 45.5% while holding the Falcons to 38.6%. 

 

Predicted to place third in the CCAA preseason in the coaches’ poll, the Broncos are also receiving votes outside of the top 25 National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Preseason Poll. 

The Broncos play again on Nov. 17 at home against Westcliff University. All CCAA basketball games will stream live online via the CCAA Network.

Featured image courtesy of Lyle Ibarra

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