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Season tips off for men’s basketball team
November 6, 2014
Opening the season with two losses is not ideal for any team.
Yet for the Cal State East Bay men’s basketball team the 0-2 start is more of a learning experience than a mark of shame. Both games have been exhibition matches not counting toward their overall record and have also been against tough competition.
In the opening game of the season the Pioneers traveled to the famed Haas Pavilion in Berkeley to take on the Golden Bears. The 94-50 final was a lopsided one in favor of Cal who is a NCAA Division I team with a history of winning and attracting the best talent from across the world.
“To start the season off against a team like that is great for us,” CSUEB coach Gus Argenal said.
“It allows us to see the level that we need to get to. If we are going to be a good team, we have to improve daily, and this is going to help us for the future.”
CSUEB seniors Ryan Okwudibonye and Nick Grieves led the way for the Pioneers amassing nearly half of the team’s total points.
Okwudibonye finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds in just 17 minutes, while Grieves added 11 points in 25 minutes.
Senior Jarred Jourdan had a tough shooting night in the losing effort for the Pioneers but still managed to get 5 points against a tough Golden Bears opponent.
“Here it is about creating a brotherhood,” Jourdan said.
Following the tough road loss, CSUEB traveled to San Jose to take on the SJSU Spartans in another exhibition game on Sunday.
The Pioneers kept the game a lot closer than they did against Cal but still fell to the Spartans 84-65.
Fremont native and junior guard Juawnn Springfield led the way for CSUEB with 15 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Springfield also played a team-high 29 minutes connecting on seven of eight free throw attempts.
“We played better defensively in the second half, and I like how we are rebounding and taking care of the ball, but we need to be much better as a group on the defensive end going forward,” Argenal said.
The Pioneers were able to compete with the Spartans in the second half being outscored just 33-31. However, the 17-point first half deficit was too much for CSUEB to come back from resulting in a loss.
Grieves shot 60 percent from behind the three-point line amassing 13 points and 2 rebounds in 28 minutes on the court.
Freshman and De La Salle High School alum Patrick Marr was impressive in limited playing time collecting 10 points in just 14 minutes for CSUEB. Okwudibonye recorded a team-high 7 rebounds in 17 minutes on the floor for the Pioneers.
Next up for the Pioneers is another exhibition game against a Division I opponent. This time CSUEB will travel to the Leavey Center to take on the Santa Clara Broncos at 7 p.m. tomorrow.