Men’s Basketball goes 0-2 in Pioneer Veteran’s Day Weekend Challenge


Kedar Dutt

Cal State Eastbay junior guard Jordan Balser dribble across his opponent during the game against Seattle Pacific Falcon held on 11 th November 2017 at Pioneer gymnasium in Hayward.

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

In their opening weekend of the 2017-18 season, the California State East Bay men’s basketball team were unable to get a win in the Pioneer Veteran’s Day Weekend Challenge they hosted.

East Bay played with a lot of effort in both games, but it was evident the team is adjusting to a new system featuring new players, new coaches and the loss of old players.

“We have to stay calm,” sophomore guard Druce Asah said. “It’s only the first two games, especially considering it’s a nonconference game, this helps us prepare.”

On Friday, the Pioneers faced off against the Montana State Billings in a close game.

East Bay’s junior point guard, Juwan Anderson, was able to get the Pioneers on the board first when he hit a jumper. Billings went on a 10-0 run and took a 10-2 lead to start the game. From there, the Pioneers made a few plays to even the score.

Senior Jordan Balser was fouled and went 1-for-2 from the line, tying the game 15-15.

The game was back-and-forth, though the Pioneers struggled from the three-point line, which was one of the main reasons the Billings were able to stay within striking distance. They shot a dreadful 7.1 percent from behind the arc, going 1-for-14 as Montana went 12-for-22 shooting 54.5 percent.

With two minutes left in the second half, the game was tied up 67-67 after Asah took the ball down the lane and made a lay up.

After that, Asah was called for a foul and Billings went up 69-67 and maintained the lead for the remainder of the game, winning 74-72.

Coach Rooney expressed how the team needs to “pressure teams throughout the entire game” in order to make easy baskets and give the Pioneers a better chance at winning games.

Senior guard Drew Bender recorded 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field in 27 minutes on the floor. Asah tallied 10 points and 5 rebounds while junior forward Patrick Marr lead the team in rebounds with 10.

The following day the Pioneers lost again, this time to Seattle Pacific 70-59.

East Bay had a terrible shooting day, which put them in trouble. They trailed 36-21 by the end of the first half and shot 22.2 percent from the field on 6-for-27 shooting and 11.1 percent from the three-point line.

Not one Pioneer reached double digit points in the game, the highest scorers were Jordan Balser and junior guard Deiondre Bird who each had 8 points.

It wasn’t the best weekend for East Bay, but this is what pre-season games are for, a chance to work out all of the kinks ahead of regular season.

The Pioneers play their first regular season game against Cal State Dominguez Hills tomorrow and Cal State Los Angeles on Saturday in Southern California.

“We have to focus on winning these next two to give us a good start in conference,” Asah said. “We came out slow over the weekend, we have to come out strong and be consistent.”