The Wolves’ Den hosted two exciting games as the Sonoma State University Seawolves faced the San Francisco State Gators and the Stanislaus State Warriors this past week. The Seawolves knew they had a tough matchup on Thursday against a strong defensive team who was 5-2 and had every intention of beating the Seawolves after losing to Cal State Dominguez Hills in double overtime. On Saturday, Sonoma knew they had more trouble coming for them as Stanislaus has proven to be a top team after their outstanding 7-2 start to the season.
The stakes were high for both teams on Thursday as fans filtered into the seats into the Seawolves’ territory, and each team wanted to come out with a win. SF State got off to a 7-0 start and dominated throughout the first half. Just before halftime, Sonoma was able to make a strong run, which kept them in the game and in hopes of turning things around in the second half. Although the Seawolves were unable to gain the lead, they only trailed by five points (30-25) at halftime.
“San Francisco State is notorious for their zone defense. Their guards have very quick hands and their wings are very athletic,” said senior center Naaman Hightower.
Sonoma’s senior forward Jordan Fleck provided excellent offensive production in the second half, scoring 12 points, which kept Sonoma in the game. Hightower had three explosive dunks and added stellar defense, which got the crowd involved and the Seawolves’ bench energized. Unfortunately for Sonoma, they failed to take the lead throughout the entire contest, which was attributed to the 20 turnovers they made over the course of the game. SF State was able to make it to the free throw line 19 times, opposed to SSU’s seven. The final score of the match was 64-55, favoring the Gators.
“Our turnovers took us out of the game and we need to be committed to value each possession,” said Hightower.
After the tough loss against San Francisco State, the Seawolves sought out revenge against the Stanislaus State Warriors, a team they had lost to 75-67 on a road game earlier in the season. On Saturday, the Warriors set foot in the Wolves’ Den this time around, with both teams knowing what they were going up against. The game was neck-and-neck throughout the first half, as Sonoma State held the lead 34-30 going into halftime.
Stanislaus State came out strong and controlled the second half. The Seawolves were left in a large deficit after letting the Warriors go on a 10-straight scoring run. The Warriors dominated the key as they outscored the Seawolves 30-16 in the paint. Stanislaus State was led by senior center, Kyle Gouveia, who scored a team-high 20 points for the Warriors. Stanislaus outshot Sonoma from the field 47.6 percent to the Seawolves’ low 32.7 percent. Jackson Gion and Armani Nicolis led the Seawolves in scoring, as they both posted double figures. After being outscored 37-23 in the second half, Sonoma State took their sixth loss of the season 67-57.
“We plan prepare the same physically, but make adjustments mentally. We are in each and every game but never finish the games in crunch time and I believe that it is all mental,” said Nicolis.
These two losses put the Seawolves record at 3-6 overall on the season. Four of Sonoma’s losses have been at the Wolves’ Den. Although the Seawolves have started off the season a bit shaky, they hope to turn things around and get a win over the Humboldt State Lumberjacks on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Arcata.