By Ryan Navaroli |Staff Writer
The Coyotes men’s basketball team is now 14th in the nation with 11 straight wins.The team was victorious with a 91-74 victory over the Cal State East Bay Pioneers Saturday night.
The game began with the Coyotes leading 44-42 at the end of an evenly played first half. The Coyotes would gain control over the Pioneers with a huge run firing up the Coyote fans to start the second half.
Senior forward, Jordan Burris, accounted for seven of those points.
“Coming out of half time we had a sense of urgency. It is all about staying aggressive,” said Burris.
Senior guard, Lacey Haddock, also scored significantly during that pivotal stretch.This led to a 23-7 run for the Coyotes to put the game out of reach midway through the frame.
The Coyotes were effective utilizing their size advantage outscoring the Pioneers 47-32 after the break. The Coyotes also held the Pioneers in the second half, giving them few opportunities to score.
Efficient shooting was crucial as the Coyotes never looked back in the second half. A season best six Coyotes scored in double figures.
“We have competitive practices and scrimmages that prepare us to be our best. Again, we have that sense of urgency every time we take the court,” said Burris.
Burris led the Coyotes with 18 points as the Coyotes controlled the second half.
Senior guard, Kirby Gardner, was just as dominant for the Coyotes scoring in double digits. Junior guard, Taylor Statham, also helped by making timely shots.
This pushed the Coyotes’ streak to nine straight games of never trailing in the second half.
“Our goal is to get better all the time. We strive on not being behind, no matter whatever it is. I think that carries over to our success,” said sophomore guard, Zeke DeBlase.
Gardner put the Coyotes ahead with a 24 point lead after a powerful dunk with only 5:17 left on the clock.
Good ball-handling helped the Coyotes overmatch the Pioneers in fast break points during the second half. The Coyotes capitalized on the Pioneers mistakes by scoring throughout the game.
Burris took advantage with his chances at the free throw line along with a pair of three-pointers. Haddock and Statham alsoadded a pair of three-pointers for the Coyotes.
A distributed offense was shown as eight players combined on 22 assists for the Coyotes. The Coyotes bench was solid as they added more pressure on the Pioneers by outscoring them.
DeBlase scored 11 points and junior forward Christian Cooper, had 8 points.
“Taylor Statham, Juan Martinez, and I call ourselves ‘the cleanup crew Our job is to come in and clean up and extend the lead. That is our mindset,” said DeBlase.
Cal State East Bay was led by Mark Samuels who scored 20 points while Gabe Kindred had 18 points on the night for the Pioneers.
The Coyotes look to continue their success as the season goes forward with home games against Cal State Los Angeles and Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday and Saturday night.