In their first California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) conference game of the season, the California State University, East Bay Men’s basketball had a statement win over California State University, San Marcos (3-4 overall, 0-1 CCAA) on Saturday, Nov. 24.
Many would think that the Thanksgiving meals a few days before would hinder a team, but it turns out it only fueled the Pioneers in their prosperous 91-62 win over the Cougars.
CSUEB began the game trailing CSUSM 5-0, but managed to shift gears as they went on an 18-0 run and never looked back. In addition to their stellar run, CSUEB also defended extremely well as they had 10 steals, held the Cougars under 40 percent in shooting, and outrebounded San Marcos 43-26.
The Pioneers led by only eight points by the end of the first half, but the Pioneers shifted another gear as they capitalized on shot opportunities in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free throw line.
CSUEB shot 47.5 percent from the field overall, 50 percent from three point line and went on an impressive 22-for-29 from the free throw line. They also earned an impressive 30 points in the paint and the bench also produced as they added 39 points in the win.
The Pioneers have had a surprising start thus far as they are currently 5-1 overall. It seemed as if the program would be affected negatively after the departure of stellar shooting guard Druce Asah last year.
The Pioneers have been proving otherwise with the several new additions in transfers and freshman, and the leadership of returners like senior guard Juwan Anderson. Nair Carlisle, sophomore guard and transfer from San Jose State, led the way for the Pioneers as he scored 25 points in 25 minutes going 8-for-13 from the field. Trent Warren, junior guard transfer from Peninsula College, was the second leading scorer as he contributed 15 points on 4-for-7 in shooting.
Freshman guard Jesse Galloway out of Long Beach Poly High School also had an efficient game as he shot 4-for-5 from the field in in his first career start for the Pioneers. He also contributed five assists. Galloway started as a supplement for senior Juwan Anderson who sat out for the game.
In his second year as head coach, Bryan Rooney has done a great job in leading this team thus far. Rooney is a defensive minded coach and it has shown in the Pioneers play as they are ranked No. 2 in the CCAA in points allowed per game.
Despite it only being the first game of conference play, hopefully the Pioneers can keep the momentum going and excel throughout the tenure of the season.
CSUEB will face off against California State Dominguez Hills (2-3 overall) in the Pioneer Gymnasium on Thursday, Nov. 29th.
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