Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s basketball team traveled to Cal Poly Humboldt to take on the Lumberjacks, looking to turn around its slow start to the season.
The Broncos came out of the gate strong with guard Chris Gayles Jr. setting the tone by making a tough basket and drawing a foul.
Everything was clicking for CPP early on, with the team finding itself up 14-0 after five minutes, forcing Humboldt to take a timeout early in the game.
The Broncos’ offense continued flowing as guard Jaden Winfield hit a mid-range shot and guard Bam Johnson converted a layup, which the Lumberjacks still did not answer.
Although CPP did not force many turnovers, the defense put pressure on the Lumberjacks early in the game. CPP cut them off on nearly every possession, kept them from getting easy baskets and forced them to take a lot of time off the shot clock.
“As a team, I think we just kept capitalizing off of each turnover, and after each one, we wanted to keep applying the same pressure and pushing the tempo of the ball to keep them off pace,” said Winfield.
The Broncos started to cool down around halfway through the first half when Humboldt’s defense forced them to move the ball a lot more and find different looks, which CPP struggled to convert.
The Broncos did not let Humboldt get back into the game as their defense remained strong, forcing poor multiple quality shots and turnovers. This resulted in the Lumberjacks finishing the first half with 14 turnovers, which contributed to the Broncos’ 20-point lead heading into the break.
Although the Broncos had a tremendous start to the first half, they started the second half slow offensively, with Humboldt’s defense forcing ball movement and once again forcing CPP to take difficult shots.
CPP still would not let the Lumberjacks back into the game as Johnson pulled off a Eurostep pass out to Winfield for an open 3-point shot to keep the lead at nearly 20.
The Broncos showed off their defense yet again when guard Malachi Murrell and forward Brandon Porter both had huge blocks around halfway through the second half, halting any momentum Humboldt built.
The game started to slow down later in the second half as the teams combined for 26 fouls in the half, making much of the action move from the paint to the free-throw line.
The Broncos and the Lumberjacks spent a lot of time trading baskets and free throws, which allowed for CPP to maintain their sizeable lead over the Lumberjacks.
Forward Jordan Carpenter hit a 3-pointer with under two minutes left, essentially icing the game and securing the victory as the Broncos dismantled the Lumberjacks 70-53.
“This is another step forward in the right direction,” said head coach Greg Kamansky. “We’ll see where we are on Saturday night. That’ll be a good test for us, but I think we’re getting better every game so that’s all I can ask for these guys.”
After the victory in their regular season opener, the Broncos traveled to Chico State Saturday, Dec. 2 for the second game of their road trip against the Wildcats. The defense-heavy game ultimately ended in a 65-55 loss for the Broncos who will bring their even conference record and 2-4 overall record into their first home game of the regular season Thursday, Dec. 7 against the San Francisco State University Gators.