By Nathaniel Lastrapes |Staff Writer|
The Coyotes handily defeated the San Francisco State Gators 80-53 on Thursday night, in an exciting game for the home team at the Coussoulis Arena.
This victory improves the Coyote’s conference record to 9-4, with junior guard Briana Harden scoring 18 points and an impressive 15 rebounds in the rout of the Gators.
Excited from the win, senior guard Briana Baker said, “Our focus was to take them serious. We didn’t, but we need to take things one game at a time. We’ve beaten them before and we knew we could beat them again.”
The Coyotes appeared locked in from warm-ups, prepared to avenge their recent loss against Cal Poly Pomona, and take advantage of a struggling Gators team who have yet to win a game this season.
The Gators came out hot, hitting 4 consecutive three-pointers, taking an early 14-4 advantage over the lethargic Coyotes.
“We’ve been there before, so we just said ‘stay together,” Baker added, “That’s always our motto, ‘stay together,’ and we locked in defensively.”
The Coyotes struggled early on offense, committing unforced turnovers and missing easy lay-ups.
Despite the slow start, the Coyotes regained focus and controlled the tempo for the rest of the first half, leading at halftime 34-27.
In the second half, the Coyotes came out firing, starting the half on an 8-2 run, extending their lead to 13 and demoralizing the spirits of the Gators before pushing their lead to 30 points.
With the victory, the Coyotes are closing in on third place, right behind the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos with only nine games remaining in the regular season.
This was a much needed victory for the coyotes, after losing to the Broncos last Thursday in a heartbreaker. What date was thursday?
In their game against the Broncos, the Coyotes trailed by 20 points with just 8:33 remaining in the game, when they rallied back with a 22-5 run to cut the Broncos’ lead down to just 3 with 34 seconds left.
The Broncos then hit two free throws, putting the game out of reach, and sealing the victory against the Coyotes.
The come-from-behind effort gave the Coyote’s the confidence that they will beat the Broncos in their next meeting at home on Feb. 26.
“When we have them at our house, we’re going to get them,” said Baker.
The Coyotes must focus on the task ahead of them, and take it one game at a team without overlooking the lower-ranked teams on their schedule.
The women Coyotes have their next home game on Saturday, Jan. 31 against the 4-8 Sonoma State Seawolves.
At this point in the season, every game is important and the Coyotes are looking forward to peaking just in time for the CCAA Tournament in Stockton on March 5.
Head coach Renee Jimenez said the focus is now on the postseason, “We’re worried about the postseason and the CCAA tournament and getting into the NCAA tournament and trying to put ourselves in a good position.”
The Coyotes hope to land in the top 3 of CCAA standings, and with the way the team is playing, it is very likely that they will find themselves there.
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