Men’s basketball breaks losing streak

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Men’s basketball breaks losing streak

Photo by Kedar Dutt/The Pioneer

Photo by Kedar Dutt/The Pioneer

Photo by Kedar Dutt/The Pioneer

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

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The California State East Bay Men’s basketball team finally broke their four-game California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference losing streak this weekend.

On Saturday, the men played California State Monterey Bay (3-12 overall, 1-8 conference) in a slow, foul-filled game for the Pioneers. It took nearly the entire game for the Pioneers to gain any type of momentum and looked like they would fall to the Otters for their fifth straight loss.

“We could not catch any type of rhythm,” head coach Gus Argenal said. “We thrive off stops and it has been hard to score when we trail and do not get the stops we need.”

In the first half, East Bay only scored 27 points and couldn’t seem to convert any points into the much-needed momentum. They went into the second half down 36-27. The men repeatedly turned the ball over throughout the half, which gave the Otters a chance to take the lead. They had 6 of the 8 turnovers in the first half.

In the second half, senior guard Jalen Richard came alive and saved the Pioneers.

The team was in trouble, trailing by as many as 11 early in the second half with nothing going their way. They soon found a rhythm and took the lead when Richard scored a key three-pointer with 10:24 left in the game, to put the Pioneers up by one point, 51-50.

“I felt good, I saw my team was down,” Richard said. “My shot felt good and I have the confidence. Anytime I am out on the court, I am looking to score.”

The three-pointer gave the Pioneers some momentum after trailing most of the game.

Richard then hit another three with 9:15 left, which gave his team a 56-52 lead and the Pioneers never looked back.The three-pointers ignited sparks in other players and at one point East Bay took an 11 point lead.

“Jalen is a senior leader who plays great basketball, so I expect that leadership out of him,” Argenal said.

The men avoided their fifth loss in a row and beat the Otters 75-66. Monterey dominated the Pioneers in the paint, outscoring them 40-22. The Pioneers normally reliable bench were outscored 26-18.

Richard led the team in points as he shot 50 percent and went 6-12, scoring 22 points. Micah Dunhour added 11 points and 3 blocks in the win.

The Pioneers are now 11-6 overall, 4-5 in conference and will travel to southern California to face California State Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and California State Dominguez Hills at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“Both teams are powerful, we will have to change our defense,” Argenal said. “They like to drive the ball, so we have to pressure them outside. We will still continue to play our style and not give up easy buckets, bring more energy, get lots of rest and watch film so we can come home with two wins.”