On Jan. 12, Cal Poly Pomona battled against Chico State as the Broncos couldn’t find their offensive game in the second half against the Wildcats, losing 81-64.
An unhappy Broncos squad couldn’t hold off the Wildcats as they lost their first game at Chico State since 2019. The Broncos are a young team, according to head coach Greg Kamansky, and they just need more experience against these types of teams.
“We need to dig in a lot more,” said Kamansky. “We are so new this year. There’s a lot of new roles, and we just aren’t there yet, and their experienced guys hurt us tonight.”
Broncos and Wildcats traded baskets early in the first half with a dominant half stretch of play from CPP guard Brase Dottin, who shot perfectly from the field, providing all nine points from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats had their first half offense led by Chico State guard Jojo Murphy, who scored 12 points and dished out four assists. CPP found their first half offense through forcing turnovers, scoring nine fast break points thanks in part to five steals.
In the late stages of the first half, the Broncos were driving through the Wildcats tough interior defense to continue putting points on the board.
Chico State wouldn’t back down as they found their way to the free throw line, shooting 5-10 in the first half.
Wildcats guard Evan Oliver knocked down two free throws to close out the half, knotting up the affair at 36 all.
The first 20 minutes of play saw four ties between both squads and five lead changes. CPP guard Shyheim Parm said the focus at halftime was to keep the same energy they started off with.
“The big emphasis was to play two full halves,” said Parm. “We’ve been coming out flat the past few games, and we have to know that it’s a whole new half and not lose energy.”
The start of the second half saw difficulties on both sides to pull away. The Broncos forced Chico State into some early fouls on back-to-back, 3-point plays from Dottin and Parm to put the Broncos ahead 46-42 with 15:34 to go.
The momentum of the game shifted when the Broncos couldn’t find an answer for Wildcats guard/forward Brennan Wheeler. He scored three straight triples for the Wildcats, and with 13:04 remaining, the Broncos found themselves down by six points.
The Broncos struggled defensively as they found themselves getting into foul trouble when Chico State shot 21 more free throws than CPP. The Wildcats’ balanced attack saw four players score in double figures.
“Everyone has to be on the same page,” said Dottin. “Our communication wasn’t the smartest in the world, especially in crunch time, and that’s something we have to maximize and keep at it for the next game and for the rest of the season.”
As frustrations flared, coach Kamansky was given a technical foul at the 1:22 mark of the second half. Parm and Murphy also jawed at each other with 19 seconds to go.
The Broncos got outrebounded 33-26 and allowed nine second-chance opportunities. Crashing the glass is an area coach Kamansky said that the team has struggled with all year long and wants to see improvement.
“We just have to get better at this point,” said Kamansky. “I always talk about rebounding. We’re a smaller team, but it’s not an excuse. We have to be hungrier and not give teams two and three chances to score.”
The Broncos look to pick up a win in their next matchup against Cal State San Marcos. Tune into the California Collegiate Athletic Association Network to stream the game, and visit the men’s basketball website for more information.