The Gators were able to stifle the Sonoma State offense in a key win before winter break.
The Gators handled their opponents easily Saturday night, trouncing the Seawolves 63-49 at The Swamp in the team’s second meeting this week.
Both teams entered the game 2-1 in CCAA play respectively, with the Gators leaving with the upper hand and the 3-1 record moving them closer to the top spot in the conference.
“We just played them (the Seawolves) Wednesday and so we wanted to give them a different look,” head coach Paul Trevor said. “We turned the heat up on the full court press today, on Wednesday we played a lot out of the halfcourt (defense).”
At halftime, the Gators led big, 42-20, after a dominating half where they forced 13 Sonoma State turnovers. The Gator defense held the Sea Wolves to a dismal 26 percent from the field.
Sophomore guard Robbie Herndon hit his stride midway through the first half, both on the scoring end with eight points to pace the Gators, as well as five rebounds at the interval.
While the first half could’ve been written as Herndon’s half, in the latter stages of the game, senior Decensae White turned it on in a crucial way.
White, who posted a double-double, had nine of his game-high 17 points in the second half, as well as eight of his 12 total rebounds.
With the Gators defense closing passing lanes for the Seawolves, SF State was able to pounce on the errors. Junior Calvin Otiono proved a menace for Sonoma State players, knifing through their offense and rerouting their plays. Ottiono had three steals in the win.
“Our main focus every day at practice has been defense,” Herndon said. “We know that is how we’re going to beat teams and make them uncomfortable because we’re quick and athletic.”
After a month of rest and conditioning, the Gators will travel to Turlock to face Cal State Stanislaus.
“We’re just going to try and make each other better as a team,” White said. “Me personally I’m just going to keep working on my game and hit the weight room.”