In a packed house the men’s basketball improved to 7-0 overall and 1-0 in the CCAA with a 79-63 win over the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos in the third annual Purple Out.
This was the Gators first televised game of the year and the team came in ready to play and enjoy the moment.
“It was a lovely feeling to play on TV.,” Junior guard Warren Jackson said. “It was nice to have people come out and enjoy themselves and get a win in front of everyone.”
The game was close throughout most of the first half with five lead changes until the Gators went on a 7-0 run late in the half to give SF State a 40-33 lead going into intermission.
In the second half, SF State was able to ignite the offense, jumping out to a 59-40 lead with under nine minutes to go. The run was sparked by a three pointer and breakaway layup by senior guard Nick Calcaterra.
“We’ve been waiting for him to do this,” said head coach Paul Trevor, “ We stick with our guys. I kept telling him to keep shooting and something finally clicked for him and he got it going.”
Despite the Broncos’ late effort to trim the lead down to 70-60, SF State sealed the 79-63 victory with smart team defense. SF State forced Cal Poly Pomona into 20 turnovers and held them under 35 percent field goal shooting.
“All year long we’ve been focusing on getting deflections and getting in the passing lane to disrupt offenses,” Calcaterra said. “I felt we did a good job at that tonight.”
Warren Jackson lead the Gators with 19 points and shot 12-12 from the free throw line. He was followed by Coley Apsay’s 14 and Nick Calcaterra’s 11 points.
“I just wanted to be aggressive trying to attack the rim and get my teammates open,” Jackson said. “We have a lot of guys who can make shots.”
Last season, SF State started out 5-0 and didn’t keep the strong start going, but the players are determined and focused to keep this years hot start going.
“We got to keep it going. Last year we started 5-0 and came into the CCAA and lost two straight,” Jackson said. “We just need to trust the process to keep this going.”
The Gators will play at home again on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they host (7-1) Cal State East Bay.