Zion Guillory |Staff Writer|
Recently our men’s basketball team had an intense road trip in which they faced two tough squads.
They began their trip against a feisty San Francisco State University team and concluded it against a very talented Cal Poly Pomona squad.
The team managed a hard fought victory over the San Francisco State Gators, but fell short against the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.
With the weekend split, the Coyotes have an overall winning record of 10-7, and 9-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
Despite their woeful record, the Gators proved to be a tough competitor but the Coyotes prevailed in tough affair, final score 67-60.
Senior Tre Brewer scored an impressive 15 points in the game, helping the Coyotes break a rare two game losing streak. Brewer has been an offensive spark as of late, and this night proved to be much of the same.
Although relieved that they were able to get back to their winning ways, the Coyotes had no time to celebrate.
Their next opponent, Cal Poly, would be no easy task and ultimately proved too much to handle.
Although the Coyotes tied the game three times, they were never able to gain enough momentum to take advantage, especially after the Broncos’ scored nine straight points in the second half.
Brewer had another impressive outing, scoring 16 points. However, he was the only Coyote in double figures. Kwame Alexander scored eight points.
In addition to points, the Coyotes also lacked rebounding. They pulled in only 24 boards collectively. Center Theron Laudermill was held without a rebound throughout the entire contest. The Coyotes couldn’t keep up, the final score, 67-54.
Questions were raised about what exactly happened to the team’s momentum from one game to the next.
One can only imagine what would go through the minds of some of the players after such a whirlwind weekend.
“I honestly don’t feel like our performance versus Pomona was too different compared to how it was against San Francisco. Pomona is just a much better team, and we didn’t step up to the challenge. They were tougher than we were,” said guard Hakeem Washington.
“Pomona was better but we lost because we didn’t make enough winning plays and turnovers killed us. We made that game a lot harder than it had to be.”
The most important things on a team, solidarity and morale, are often the first things to disappear when the going gets tough.
The split of the weekend series was tough for the Coyotes, but it didn’t seem to rattle them too much. In fact, it seemed to make them stronger.
“We learned from this loss. The team morale has risen and it shows in practice,” said Washington.
“I think we played hungry in both games. [Against San Francisco State] we managed to do the little things to stop their run and came out with a victory. [Against Pomona] we didn’t do the little things which caused us a loss,” said coach’s assistant Aaron Hill.
Each season has it shares of ups and downs. While the ups are definitely enjoyable and fun, the downs can provide a learning experience and separate the true winners from the losers.
The Coyotes have enjoyed much success this season, but it will be interesting to see how they respond to this low point moving forward.