SF State’s men’s basketball team closed out its Spirit Week game series this Saturday with a 58-55 win over Sonoma State University.
Coming off of a loss from the night before against Humboldt State, the Gators reorganized and focused heavily on their defense, keeping the Seawolves at bay with an early lead in the first half.
Although the Gators secured their lead early in the game, keeping ahead of the Sonoma Seawolves proved to be a tough challenge.
Within minutes of scoring their first two points, the Seawolves earned a free throw by Ben Washington, and minutes later they were able to tie up the game 4-4.
The Seawolves were only two steps behind the Gators and were able to tie up the game three more times by the end of the first half.
Yet, compared to the misfortunes of the previous night, head coach Paul Trevor was proud of how the team performed.
“I am very pleased with our efforts tonight,” Trevor said. “We competed at a very high level.”
Trevor explained that Saturday night’s game was all about a productive response after a tough loss.
“Tonight we realized we need to stick together and keep up basic defensive principles,” said junior forward Winston Demmin.
The game against Humboldt State forced this realization. Junior guard Chad Delaney explained that one of the biggest issues the Gators had during that particular game was that they allowed Humboldt to fast break early on. But things changed that night against Sonoma.
“Part of the reason why we played so well was because we communicated on a high level,” Delaney said.
The Gators were able to hold tight to their lead throughout the first half. However, the pacing of the game changed as they entered the second half of the game.
The Seawolves came back steadily during the first part of the second half. Then around the 6-minute mark, the game went into the deciding moments as the Seawolves were threatening to steal the lead from the Gators.
Feeling the pressure from the Gators, the Seawolves managed to surprise SF State in the last five minutes of the game as Patrick Scott landed a jumper that pulled the team right behind the Gators, 49-48.
“I was thinking, ‘we just gotta get a stop. Just one defensive stop,’” Trevor said.
With 3:40 left, Demmin rebounded off of a missed layup by the Seawolves’ Matthew French. Senior guard Marquel Hoskins followed the rebound immediately with a 3-point shot sending the Gators into a 52-48 lead.
The atmosphere intensified in the final stretch of the second half. With a little more than a minute to go, the Seawolves still had a chance to steal the lead, with the Gators just ahead at 56-55. However, as the seconds wound down in a heart-thumping final minute, sophomore guard Nefi Perdomo was fouled by the Seawolves’ Sterling Arterberry. With the clock stopped at 30 seconds left, Perdomo went to the line and sank both free throws, securing the Gators’ lead at 58-55.
For the Gators, Saturday night’s game gave them a much-needed win to keep their third place ranking in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Gators will host their last regular season games starting next Thursday as they take on Cal State Stanislaus. Friday’s game against Chico State will honor the departing seniors.