Gators’ comeback falls short as Pioneers dominate

Diego Felix

SF State men’s basketball team couldn’t finish the rally, as their two-game win streak snapped against CSU East Bay with a final score of 62-80.  

The Gators came into this game with momentum after a close win against Cal State LA. Playing in front of their home crowd.

However, the Gators would start off slow as neither team would score in the first four minutes of the game until Zane Paddon struck first with a jumper giving the gators the early lead 2-0. 

From there, the Pioneers dominated by taking advantage of the Gators missed shots at the net, scoring a couple of 3-pointers of their own, taking all the momentum the Gators had with a 21-4 lead with 11:13 left in the first half.  

The Gators did not waiver and countered by scoring 10 unanswered points and cutting the lead to 23-14 with Eche Okeke scoring five of those points. 

It seemed as if the momentum shifted back towards the Gators side, but the Pioneers defense would silence the crowd quick by getting nine turnovers and turning it into points building on their lead. 

Linton Acliese committed three of those turnovers due to constant double teams from the Pioneer defense.  

The Gators had opportunities to score and were winning the rebound battle, but weren’t executing their shots, being only 1-11 on three-point attempts compared to the Pioneers shooting 7-13 on 3-point attempts and making most of their shots in the first half. 

The half ended with the Gators down 23 points with the score 24-47. SF State was held to 24 points in the first half, the lowest scoring output in a quarter by SF State this season.

The Gators offense came out swinging in the second half by adding seven points in the first five minutes by connecting their shots and cutting the lead to 31-49.  

Alex Manu was responsible for five of those points by getting a layup shot, connecting a free throw, getting a steal and then following it up with another layup shot.  

But the Gators were too aggressive as they committed personal fouls and missed early three-point attempts which the Pioneers took advantage of, putting the score 60-31 with 13:13 left in the second half.  

It seemed as if the Gators were going to be blown out, but they weren’t going to give up without a fight. 

The Gators rallied back cutting, the score to a 12-point game with 2:12 to go thanks to DJ Sylvester, Sean Orr and Linton Acliese leading the comeback adding the score 74-62.  

The Pioneers held their ground as time ran out for the Gators with the final score 62-80. 

“We showed a lot of character,” Coach Inglima said. “We did not show up in the first half. We dug ourselves in a big hole against a good team but we fought all the way, cut the lead to 12 twice so I am proud of the group for that.”  

The Gators head north to Humboldt State on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.