The SF State men’s basketball game against the visiting Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros Wednesday, Feb. 22 proved to be a highlight of the Gators’ season. The victory marked the first time since 2005 that the team has beaten the opponents.
SF State won 70-66 in a tightly-contested game against the seventh-seeded Toros. The Gators have now won four of the last five games including an overtime victory over the second-seeded Humboldt State Jacks. Earlier in the season, the Gators lost to both of these teams.
“We hit them up the full game, full court and that’s what set us up for the win, ” said Nefi Perdomo, who led all scorers with 18 points. “It was kind of revenge, tonight we played harder than them and we came out on top.”
Early in the first half the Gators suffocated the Toros with full court pressure, trapping opposing ball handlers up and down the court which lead to a 16-5 run. The Toros managed to heat up midway through the half and began chipping away at the lead, thanks to a combined 23 points from guards Myron Green and Wayne Andrews.
Not to be outdone, SF State guards Chad Delaney, a senior, and Robbie Herndon, a freshman, from the bench had a combined five points in the last few seconds of the first half which resulted in a 35-34 Gator lead at halftime.
“Sometimes as players you get a feel for the game and you can just tell you’re controlling it,” Herndon said. “The first time we played them we gave up the lead in the first half and let them come back and get the win. We should of had that game so we knew coming into this game we had to get this one.”
The Gators continued with their full court pressure in the second half, which derailed the Toros offense and caused 21 total turnovers in the game. Taking advantage of the opportunities, the Gators were quick to capitalize on the Toros’ mistakes and scored 16 points from turnovers.
The game proved to be a total team effort, as it marks the 15th time since late December that the Gators’ bench outscored their opponent’s second line 24-14. Herndon contributed five rebounds and led the Gators’ bench with 17 points, 12 of which came in the last minutes of the second half. Tyler Brown also added 10 points and four rebounds to the team’s victory.
“It’s a nice win for my guys, the pressure was very good tonight it took (the Toros) out of their rhythm, they threw the ball all over the place,” said Paul Trevor, head coach for the Gators. “It’s starting to happen now in the second half of the year, we’ve beaten some very good teams. The expectations for next season are going to be very, very high going into next year.”