SF State wrapped up its homestand Friday and Saturday with back-to-back nail biting wins over the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes and the defending 2010 NCAA Division II National Champions, the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.
As a result, the Gators snapped the Broncos six-game winning streak and also increased their own winning streak to four games.
“We talk about creating an identity here at SF State,” said head coach Paul Trevor. “We want to make sure that everyone knows we have a good basketball program and that we can compete with the rest of the teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.”
The Gators got off to a rocky start on Saturday as they trailed the Broncos for the first 28 minutes of the game and were plagued with foul trouble.
However, there were two key plays in the first half that turned the game around for the home team.
At the 12-minute mark, momentum shifted for the Gators as sophomore guard Nefi Perdomo tied the game by sinking his second 30-foot three-pointer from the right side of the court.
“Nefi Perdomo is the most valuable player in the CCAA,” said senior guard Marquel Hoskins. Hoskins ran into the team’s locker room at the end of the game after learning that Perdomo shot 8-12 from the field, scored 22 points and collected six rebounds in 38 minutes.
The other huge play came courtesy of freshmen center and forward Max Fodor. Fodor played like a man possessed, scoring a season-high 10 points on 5-5 shooting and being a big presence inside for the Gators. He scored two baskets and grabbed two defensive rebounds in only six minutes during the first half of the game.
“I thought I played well,” Fodor said. “I got assists from my teammates and I couldn’t have done it without them. Cal Poly is a big team, but we accepted their challenge and gave it to them.”
According to senior guard Phoenix O’Rourke, who scored 15 points and shot 5-7 from the three-point line, the Gators’ 68-66 win on Saturday over the Broncos took a total team effort.
“We did real well tonight,” O’Rourke said. “We didn’t turn the ball over as much and had quite a lot of assists. Overall, it was a great performance by our bench.”
O’Rourke, described by Trevor as a player who is unselfish, is one of the Gators’ captains this season.
In addition, the San Mateo native is well on his way to breaking two all-time SF State records. O’Rourke has 156 career three-pointers and 126 career steals. He needs 12 more three-pointers and just five steals to break both records.
“This year, defenders have been closing out on me,” O’Rourke said. “Cal Poly played great zone defense. But I couldn’t have made my shots without the help of all of our bigs. They just did a great job and I can’t say enough about the way they played today.”