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Men’s hoops lose at buzzer to Chico

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Men’s hoops lose at buzzer to Chico

CSUEB junior guard Jalen Richard looks for an open teammate during a home loss to Chico State at Pioneer Gymnasium on the Hayward campus.

CSUEB junior guard Jalen Richard looks for an open teammate during a home loss to Chico State at Pioneer Gymnasium on the Hayward campus.

Photo by Melody Platt

CSUEB junior guard Jalen Richard looks for an open teammate during a home loss to Chico State at Pioneer Gymnasium on the Hayward campus.

Photo by Melody Platt

Photo by Melody Platt

CSUEB junior guard Jalen Richard looks for an open teammate during a home loss to Chico State at Pioneer Gymnasium on the Hayward campus.

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

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It must have felt like a movie for the men’s basketball team Saturday night.

With just nine seconds left in the game, Cal State East Bay found themselves down by three points to the visiting Chico State Wildcats. CSUEB senior guard Alex Carmon had the ball near half court with a few seconds left on the clock and pulled up for the tie, but it didn’t go in.

“Alex made a great cut to an open area caught the ball with forward momentum and had a solid look from half court,” CSUEB Head Coach Gus Argenal said. “I thought it was going in.”

The Wildcats squeaked out a win 57-54 at Pioneer Gymnasium and the 23rd ranked team in the country improved to 7-1 overall and a perfect 2-0 in California Collegiate Athletic Conference play while the Pioneers fell to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in conference games.

Things started out strong for East Bay and following a three-pointer from senior guard Tre Mauldin, the Pioneers found themselves up 23-21 at halftime. Mauldin finished the contest with 9 points after he took just 5 shots and he also connected on all four of his free throw attempts.

“Close games are going to happen in conference,” junior guard Robert Duncan said. “These kind of games make you stronger at the end of the year.”

The Wildcats made just about half of their shots in the second half and that helped them take a five-point advantage in the half and the victory. Sophomore guard Corey Silverstrom led the way for Chico State as he tallied a team-high 16 points and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes of playing time.

CSUEB guard Jalen Richard was impressive in the loss. The junior totaled a game-high 17 points and connected on three of his four three-point shots. Richard also nabbed 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals for the Pioneers. Despite missing the game-tying shot attempt, Carmon was also solid for East Bay. The senior had 12 points and 3 steals in the losing effort for the Pioneers.

“Jalen is emerging as a very consistent player for us and he is a big time competitor,” Argenal said.
“He works on his game more than any player I have ever coached and it shows in his productivity and confidence. The best part about him is that he is open to coaching and sees that there is a lot of room still for improvement.”

Chico State has become a dominant team in the CCAA conference and has played in four consecutive CCAA conference tournament championship games. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they have lost all four of those games including last year to tournaments champions Cal State Stanislaus 82-70.

Chico State will be back at home on Saturday when they welcome Cal State San Marcos at 7:30 p.m.

The Pioneers will also have another home game at 5 p.m. when they host the Simpson University Red Hawks on Saturday at Pioneer Gymnasium.
The Red Hawks are just 1-12 this season while CSU San Marcos is 4-3 overall and 2-0 in CCAA competition.

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Men’s hoops lose at buzzer to Chico