The men’s and women’s basketball teams will open their 2017-18 season this month, and look to continue playing until the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) final matches that take place in early March.
The men took on Upper Iowa to start their season on Nov. 3. They narrowly missed the win, falling 92-88 to the Peacocks.
In their 2016-17 season, the men finished with an overall record of 11-14 and a CCAA record of 7-13, just shy of one win that would have landed them a spot in the CCAA Tournament.
Last year, they ended in ninth place out of 13 teams in the conference. The team has fallen short of the post-season tournament two seasons in a row now and are eager to make playoffs this upcoming season.
“We have had three down years, but our goal this season is to bring the winning tradition back,” said Brandon Staton, a current senior who redshirted last year.
Staton believes they have a good team this year.
“We want to win conference and national championships, but we want to take it one step at a time to achieve these goals,” said Staton. “Right now the focus is earning a spot in the CCAA conference tournament.”
The team is confident they will make the playoffs this year. Staton predicts that they will be among the top five teams in the conference.
“I am very excited about the season, I have a good feeling about this one,” said Staton.
The men’s first home game will take place Nov. 18 as they take on Vanguard University at 7 p.m. in the Coussoulis Arena.
For the women, their first games will start off with a weekend in Monmouth, Oregon. The Coyotes play against Saint Martin’s on Nov. 11 at 12 p.m. Then, they face Western Oregon on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.
They will play in a total of 26 regular season games this year.
Last year, women’s basketball finished 15-10 overall, which allowed them to reach the CCAA Tournament three straight seasons in a row.
“The main team goal this year is to put the first women’s basketball championship banner up in the arena,” said Jasmine Sauser.
Sauser is a junior guard who transferred from California Baptist University (CBU) and redshirted at CSUSB last year.
Just a week out, she has high hopes for their upcoming season.
“If we continue to work hard, play and grow as a team, we will have a very successful year, which includes playoffs, of course,” said Sauser.
In the women’s first scrimmage, it was evident that they still had more work to do at practice, but they can also see that they have some good talent coming together already.
“I believe as long as we put in the work to fix some of our errors now, we will have no problem going into season,” said Sauser.
The first home game for the women will be against the defending West Region Champions, CBU, on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Coussoulis Arena.