The Sonoma State University men’s basketball team suffered two losses this weekend in the Wolves’ Den. Cal Poly Pomona held off the Seawolves (68-62), then Humboldt State went on to defeat Sonoma State (67-51).
In the first of two weekend matchups, the Seawolves came out strong against Pomona, with a 7-0 lead to begin the game. An effective zone defense executed early in the first half, along with key offensive plays by the starting five kept the match close in the first 20 minutes of play.
Down by one (25-24) in the second half, senior James Davis erupted with seven 3-point shots, the first four nearly back-to-back.
“It’s nice to make a lot of threes because I love shooting them, but when we lose I can care less about how many threes I made or how many points I scored. It wasn’t enough to win the game,” said Davis, the six foot guard from San Lorenzo, CA.
Davis shot 50% from the floor, leading the team with 25 points. David Ahern trailed closely, earning 17 points in 29 minutes of play.
Unfortunately, Pomona entered the second half of the game with an offensive intensity that Sonoma State couldn’t quite hinder. After ten unanswered Cal Poly points in the remaining 12 minutes, the Seawolves were unable to recover, and Pomona secured the six-point victory.
“We made a few mistakes defensively down the stretch and they made us pay for it,” said Davis after the home court loss on Friday.
Similar defensive errors overshadowed the team in their final matchup against Humboldt State in the 2015-16 season. Sonoma State students packed the Wolves’ Den on Saturday night to witness a fierce battle against the HSU Lumberjacks. Ronnie Harris and David Ahern got the ball rolling with two early 3-pointers, giving the Seawolves a 6-0 advantage to start the game. Humboldt’s multiple failed attempts behind the 3-point line helped keep Sonoma in command until the Lumberjacks tied them at the half, 26-26.
The remainder of the competition looked like a much different game when the Lumberjacks took control midway through the second half, scoring 17 unanswered points.
“It was a combination of us remaining stagnant on offense and giving Humboldt too many open shots on defense,” said David Ahern, who scored 9 points against the Lumberjacks.
Down 18 points with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game, Sonoma had to settle for the loss, putting their current overall record at 12-9 (7-8 CCAA).
Juniors Ronnie Harris, Luke Cochran, and Nathan Molony-Benjamin were among the team’s top scorers. Harris led the Seawolves with 14 points in just 21 minutes, including multiple impressive 3-point plays, while Molony-Benjamin energized the crowd with numerous blocks and a perfect alley-oop off of the inbound.
Despite two tough losses this weekend, the players are keeping focus, determined to break their 3-game losing streak.
“In order to win the next game we need to get in sync offensively and make better decisions with the ball,” Ahern acknowledges.
“We need to get a better flow offensively,” said Davis, agreeing with Ahern, “our defense has been carrying us all year. If we don’t figure things out on the offensive end of the floor it will be tough to continue winning games.”
With only 5 games left in the season, the Sonoma State University Men’s Basketball team is ranked 7th in conference standings (7-8), close behind Cal State Monterey Bay (8-7). The team is scheduled to play its last two home games this week on Tuesday at 7:30pm against San Francisco State, and at 4:00pm on Saturday against Cal State San Marcos.