SF State beat the California State University Monterey Bay Otters for the second time this season with an up-tempo offense and defensive intensity, the final score being 85-78.
The 85 points are the most the Gators have scored in a game this season. Forty of the points were scored in the paint, and the Gator bench added 35.
“We were pretty explosive offensively tonight,” head coach Paul Trevor said. “We came out hard early, and today we were able to hold onto the lead and make the plays when we needed to.”
The Gators took their first lead of the game two and a half minutes in, after a Treaven Duffy layup put them up 8-6. They didn’t relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
Trevor kept his players fresh by subbing bodies in and out constantly. No Gator played more than 29 minutes, and nine players scored on the night.
“We were running a lot of guys out,” Trevor said. “I wanted to make sure we had fresh legs in the game the entire time, so I just kept running guys at them. We are deep. We got a lot of guys who want to play, so I’m very proud of our bench.”
Duffy and Warren Jackson led the way offensively for the Gators, with 16 and 15 points scored respectively. The majority of their points came in the paint.
“When we started running our embarcadero set, which is two guys running off screens at the bottom of the key, it really opened up the lane,” Duffy said. “There was a lot of attention on guys coming off screens. Me and Warren are great drivers, so when guys are guarding us tight, it makes it a lot easier for us to get into the lane and finish at the rim.”
A few turnovers late in the game put some pressure on the Gators, but the Otters were never able to close the gap. The Otters got within seven points with 10 seconds remaining in the game, but the Gators were able to milk the clock down with one last possession and secure the win.
The victory keeps the Gators playoff hopes alive, as they now improve to a 4-7 conference record. Jackson stressed the importance of the win.
“It was a big win,” Jackson said “We came out and we competed. We dropped a big (game) yesterday, so this one was all about getting one back.”
The Gators next test will come on Jan. 29, when they play the California State University Dominguez Hills Toros.