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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Gators win on opening day for first time since 2019

SFSU men’s basketball team takes down Dominican University 59-55 at home
Caleb Oden, shoots a free throw against Dominican University of California (DUofC) at Don Nasser Gymnasium on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023 . (Kayla Williams /Golden Gate Xpress )

With the crowd still on their feet, one player set up another with an alley-oop dunk, which made the crowd explode for the team’s first points of the season.

Guard CJ Bellamy set up forward Caleb Oden to open the scoring as the San Francisco State University men’s basketball team defeated Dominican University 59-55 on Friday. The win makes it seven straight home wins for the Gators dating back to last season, and it’s the first time the team registered a win on opening day since 2019.

Vince Inglima – Head Men’s Basketball Coach calls a timeout in the second quarter on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023 at Don Nasser Gymnasium. (Kayla Williams / Golden Gate Xpress)

The win comes after a defeat in their final preseason game, where they traveled to Baptist University in Riverside, California, and suffered a 74-57 loss.

The Gators controlled the game going into halftime, leading 33-22 at the break, committing six fouls.

The second half opened with much of the same intensity. The Gators’ largest lead of the night was 41-27. However, Dominican kept the contest tight and were in the game late on until center Jonah Roth all but sealed the game with a corner three-point shot, making it a six-point game with less than five minutes to go.

Roth was the team’s top scorer with 20 points, including three three-pointers.

“It took me a little bit to get going,” Roth said. “I started my game inside out, scored a little bit in the post and then that opened me up to shoot some threes, went 3-3 from deep, so that always feels good as well.”

Seventh-year head coach Vince Inglima said he was happy with his team’s defensive output in holding Dominican to 22 points in the first half. However, he felt that his team had committed too many offensive errors–– mainly turning over the ball 21 times and missing free throws.

Men’s Basketball team reacting to the referee’s call at Don Nasser Gymnasium on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. (Kayla Williams/Golden Gate Xpress)

“It was a good first outing for a little bit of a new group,” Inglima said. “We turned the ball over a ton in the second half. That’s something that we gotta improve upon and to be stronger with the ball.”

Inglima said that a win on opening day sets the tempo for the type of team they want to be moving forward.

“It really sets the tone for who we want to be,” Inglima said. “We’re going to be a gritty defensive team that’s going to be really tough to score on. We need to do a better job imposing our style of play on our opponents. It starts with us being that tight, executing and physical defensive team which we did today.”

Forward Jailen Daniel-Dalton made his SFSU debut and was the team’s third-leading scorer with seven points. Daniel-Dalton said Inglima’s postgame message to the team was to alert them of the four-year opening-day winless streak that had been broken.

“This is what we wanted to do,” Daniel-Dalton said. “We’ve been putting in a lot of work over the last two and a half months and I’m glad to see that it’s finally paying off.”

The Gators host the Academy of Art tonight at 7:00 p.m. for their next contest at Don Nasser Family Plaza.

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About the Contributor
Jason Hernandez
Jason Hernandez, A&E Editor
Jason Hernandez(he/him) is the arts and entertainment editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in education. He's lived in the Bay Area his whole life and currently lives near South San Francisco. During his free time, Jason enjoys watching sports, playing pool and thrift shopping. Once he graduates, he'd one day like to work for Vice News.

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