The SF State Mens’ Basketball Team hosted its annual Gator Gobble tournament where they split their two contests. The SF State Gator Gobble took place over the Thanksgiving break from Nov. 29 through the 30th, in San Francisco at the Main Gym in Don Nasser Family Plaza, also known as “The Swamp”.
The three teams that participated in the tournament along with the Gators were the Western Oregon Wolves, the Concordia Cavaliers, and the Stanislaus State Warriors from Turlock, CA.
The Gators lost to the Wolves (5-0) on Nov. 29 by a score of 88-76 where 3-point shots made the difference.
The Gators were unable to overcome a nine-point deficit to start the second half, despite four Gators dropping double-digit scoring performances.
The game was a back-and-forth battle, but the Wolves took advantage of steals and blocks to keep their momentum going throughout the game.
“Generally, I’m pleased with our season so far,” said SF State Head Coach, Vince Inglima . “We are incorporating in a lot of new players this year, and have had some understandable issues on the offensive end due to guys not being comfortable playing together, yet.”
Junior forward Linton Acliese III, a BECA major from Richmond CA, led the Gators with 17 points while shooting .500 from the field. Two other players who reached new marks in this game were junior’s Jase Wickliffe, who scored a season-high 12, and Sean Orr with a career-high 10 points.
The Gators rebounded the following day with a blowout 91-55 win in their next game against Concordia.
“On Friday, we really let Western Oregon set the pace and style of the game. We did not get the ball inside in the first half and committed several unforced turnovers,” said Inglima. “Saturday, we played a much better style. We attacked inside-out and didn’t settle for early jumpshots. It gave us a much better rhythm to the offense.”
Recovering the ball made the difference as the Gators outrebounded Concordia 47-26, which 11 were from senior center Tyler Jackson who recorded his first career double-double with 13 points. Jackson’s double-double, along with Acliese consecutive team leading 22 points powered the Gators to the victory.
The Gators took advantage off the basket and made Concordia players look small as they seemed to win almost every single rebound. The Gators also looked comfortable from behind the 3-point line as players repeated taking shots from deep. Inglima wants the team to take three’s but to also not receive them.
“A big area of improvement for us is guarding the 3-point line. We are getting torched from deep, and that has to change if we are going to do well in conference play,” said Inglima.
Western Oregon were the tournament winners as they were the only team to go undefeated, and their junior guard Darius Lubom took home the MVP award, scoring 44 points between their two contests.
Gator players Acliese and Zane Paddon made the All-Tournament Team. Acliese was also honored as the Gator of the Week for a third time this semester by SF State.
“We have faced a really tough schedule so far. Our four losses are to teams that are a combined 22-4 overall,” Inglima said. We just aren’t ready to win those games, yet. But we are growing, and we are starting to show some signs of life on the offensive side of the ball.”
The Gators will travel south to Los Angeles for their next game on Dec. 5 against Cal State LA (5-3) at the Eagles Nest .