The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Gator Pass
The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Men’s basketball homestand will determine playoff chances

Men’s basketball tournament spot can be booked from home stand
Vanden Harris
San Francisco State’s Caleb Oden watches a three-point shot attempt in a game versus Dominican University of California in SFSU’s Main Gym on Nov. 10, 2023. (Vanden Harris special to Golden Gate Xpress)

The San Francisco State men’s basketball team is in a similar position to last season. With four games left, it sits one spot outside the playoff teams in its conference.

Its current conference record is 8-10, with the teams above it being Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State San Bernardino, Chico State, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State East Bay, and Sonoma State. 

Three of the four final games are at home, and these home games are against teams below them in the standings. On Thursday, the Gators lost by a score of 64-54 at home against San Bernardino. 

On Saturday, the Gators will host Cal Poly Pomona at 3 p.m. The Gators will host Sonoma the following Thursday before hosting Cal State San Marcos on Saturday. They close the season at East Bay on Thursday, Feb. 29.

“We just gotta keep playing together, playing our brand of basketball, and control our own destiny,” said guard CJ Bellamy. 

If the Gators can hold onto the final spot, they will secure their place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference tournament in San Bernardino from March 7-9. 

“We got a huge opportunity to go up in our standings and confirm our spot in this tournament,” said guard Tyjean Burrell. “I think we’re looking forward to it.”

The Gators held a conference record of 2-6 on Jan. 11 after an overtime home loss to Hills, which put them in a challenging position for the postseason. 

They gained momentum and embarked on a six-game winning streak, propelling them into a playoff position.

San Francisco State’s Jonah Roth secures the ball from two defenders before putting up a shot in a game versus Westmont College in SFSU’s Main Gym on Nov. 18, 2023. (Vanden Harris special to Golden Gate Xpress)

However, since then, the Gators have gone up against three of the top four teams in the conference on the road, followed by the other top four team at home, and their record has now dropped to 8-10.

“We had a nice run,” said Gators head coach Vince Inglima. “We won six games in a row and really were playing well and then we ran into three top teams in the league all on the road. That’s kinda been tough.”

The Gators have had a consistent offensive output throughout the season, but during the six-game winning streak, their defense was at a very high level. They held four of the six teams to 60 or fewer points while scoring more than 60 in all of the matchups.

Their shooting percentage has remained, but they allowed a much higher amount of points in the three road losses due to going up against such tough opponents.

“We haven’t won the last couple games, but we played well,” Inglima said. “So I feel really good about where we’re at.”

Inglima has been the head coach for the Gators since the 2017-18 season. They finished third in conference play in the 2022-23 season through a late-season surge.

“Last year, on Jan. 7, we were in last place and then really found it and kind of had a great run,”  Inglima said. “We’ve found ourselves in a similar space this year, but I think we take a lot of confidence knowing that we can do it.”

It has been a momentum-based season for the Gators. With three games in a row coming up at home and the season’s final game being an away matchup against Cal State East Bay, who are one spot above SFSU, the team has an opportunity to build momentum again. 

“A lot of things are in our control, but in the end, you gotta play well,” Inglima said. “You gotta make shots. You gotta execute the game plan and defend at a high level.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jake Knoeller
Jake Knoeller, Staff Reporter
Jake Knoeller (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in communications. He was born in Eureka, California and raised in Humboldt County. He currently lives in San Francisco. He previously worked for The Lumberjack, the student newspaper of Cal Poly Humboldt. During his free time, Jake enjoys playing or watching soccer, listening to music, and exploring neighborhoods in San Francisco.

Comments (0)

All Golden Gate Xpress Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *