Foul-filled game leaves CPP men’s basketball defeated by Chico State

By Gerardo Sanchez, Feb. 20, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s basketball team came up short Thursday, Feb. 8, as a slow first-half showing saw the Broncos fall 87-81 against the Chico State Wildcats.

While the team was able to pick up the pace in the second half, sinking 49 points in the second 20 minutes of play, the effort was not enough to mount the Wildcats’ nine-point halftime lead.

Coming into this game, the Broncos were 6-9 in conference play, while the Wildcats boasted a 12-4 record.

“They fought back, and we came out as flat as can be,” said head coach Greg Kamansky. “We lost three close games. It’s frustrating you know.  We’re not executing in the end. We’re not making the big stop, giving up wide-open threes on out-of-bounds plays. Overall, the effort was there starting at the 15-minute mark of the game.”

Chico State gained control of the ball during the opening tip but quickly lost possession to the Broncos. However, a foul to forward Michael Ofoegbu cut their momentum short and gave Chico State their first two points.

More fouls reset their progress, allowing Chico State to take advantage of weak points in the Bronco’s defense and score 3-point shots while farming free throws.

As Chico State continued to lay into the Bronco’s defense, they racked up 41 points by the end of the first half, while the Bronco’s teamwork on offense earned them 32 points. Guard Malcolm Bell netted nine points with a mix of free throws and 3-point shots, and forward Jordan Carpenter scored six points with four coming from layups.

Guard Malachi Murrell performed three offensive rebounds and two defense rebounds, and guard Bam Johnson secured two assists. On the opposing side, Chico State guard Evan Oliver proved to be a challenge for the Bronco defense, accumulating nine points and four rebounds in the first half.

The Broncos entered the second half looking to up their offensive game and cut down Chico’s 42-31 lead. A jumper from Chico State opened the scoring, however, before guard Chris Gayles Jr. responded with a layup to shrink the 11-point gap.

While the Broncos worked to close the gap, they again fell into foul trouble and let Chico State maintain a narrow lead throughout much of the second half. With three minutes left in the half, the Broncos led the game 76-75 with forward Kodey Weary sinking a 3-pointer, earning him a total of 13 points throughout the game.

As the clock hit 30 seconds left, a string of fouls on both sides brought the Broncos from 78 points to 81 and the Chico State Wildcats from 82 points to 87 as Wildcat guard Miles Daniels collected 14 points this game, marking the end of the second half and the Bronco’s defeat.

“The guys, they played hard, and we had a chance to win at the end of the game and obviously, we didn’t make the plays, so we got to come back Saturday,” said Kamansky.

Finishing the game, guard Jaden Winfield collected 15 points, while Gayles Jr. and Weary both went home with 13 points. Both Gayles Jr. and Winfield reflected on their performance and what the team would be working on for their next game.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the bounce back,” said Winfield. “There’s nothing we can do about it. Right now, that was 10 minutes ago, so we need to keep moving to the next game.”

For Gayles Jr., finding future success will require more preparation and insight into their opponents.

“We also need to be better at scouting,” said Gayles Jr. “I had a lapse at the end of the game that led to an open shot, so things like that we need to pay attention to. Knowing what they’re going to run offensively and defensively so we know how to attack it or defend it.”

After the loss to Chico State, CPP took on Cal Poly Humboldt, Cal State East Bay and San Francisco State, with those matches resulting in a win and two losses to bring the team’s overall record to 8-15. The team will next face the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters this Thursday, Feb. 22.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

Verified by MonsterInsights