It was a last-minute and devastating loss for the SF State men’s basketball team in the last game of the season against Cal State LA. The Gators’ home game also honored the four seniors of the team prior to the game, which ended 70-75.
The game was bittersweet for seniors Chad Delaney, Griffin Reilly, Tyler Brown and Daniel Trammel, who celebrated the start of the game with family members and received framed pictures highlighting their careers at SF State.
“We wanted to end the season on a good note,” said Trammel, who has played in 110 games and is the only four-year senior on the team. “I think we did that.”
The Gators came out strong in the first half, holding onto the lead until halftime. The Cal State LA Golden Eagles trailed closely, keeping the game close by putting pressure on the Gator defense and capitalizing on rebounds.
“We got killed on the glass,” Brown said. “And we gave them some open shots.”
Brown contributed to the strong offensive play, leading the first half with seven points and four rebounds. Freshman Robbie Herndon also came out with a passion, also grabbing four rebounds and putting up six points.
By the end of the first half, with a five-point lead, the team had shown their ability to work the ball around the court and push the Golden Eagles’ defensive limits.
Into the second half of the game, Golden Eagle center Jordan Richard stated to become a problem for the Gators. Standing at 6-feet, 9-inches, Richard led Cal State LA with 13 rebounds to contribute to the team’s 42 overall rebounds to the Gator’s 34.
“We have to be able to compete with their physicality,” said Gator head coach, Paul Trevor.
The Golden Eagles took the lead for the first time in the game shortly into the second half. They continued to lengthen their lead throughout the next 15 minutes with exceptional efforts from guards Quinton Watkins and Chris Robinson, who put up 43 points combined.
The Gators were quick to come back with a dunk from junior James Albright and back-to-back offensive runs, making it a four-point game for most of the last 10 minutes. From there, the Gators fought against the clock.
“I’m proud of how we competed,” Trevor said. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t finish, especially for the seniors.”
The Gators trailed the Golden Eagles closely, fighting until the last seconds. Unfortunately for the team, the Golden Eagles fired it up late in the game and seized the win by five points.
The Gators end their season with a 9-19 overall, and 7-15 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The team had nine new faces this season and will have returning players such as Nefi Perdomo, the team’s lead scorer.
“We’ve got to get better, and we will,” Trevor said. “I’m very proud of how we’ve competed. The team has continued to get better throughout the season and I think that shows a lot about who they are as players and as people.”
But for the honored seniors, the game marks the end of their athletic collegiate careers. Brown hopes to continue his basketball career and join a semi-pro league, but he looks back on his time with the team as a valuable experience.
“These guys are like my brothers,” Brown said. “I’m proud to be a Gator.”