The men’s basketball team faced a tough challenge on Thursday Jan. 31. After an up and down game that had the Seawolves gripping onto a 69-68 lead, the Toros of Cal State Dominguez Hills finished the game on an eight to zero run to win 76-68.
The Seawolves record stands at 7-12 overall and 5-9 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
The Seawolves left some points at the line and “I stepped over and had a free throw violation and we missed a good number of free throws as a team,” said senior Jordan Hickman.
Even with a poor record the Seawolves believe they can finish strong, “Throughout the year we’ve been faced with a lot of adversity whether on the court or off of it, so staying locked in and trusting the process will help us finish out the season strong,” said Hickman.
In an eight-point loss mental mistakes can come back to haunt you. The Seawolves had too many of those on this night.
“We can cut down on turnovers and keep our defensive intensity up for the whole game,” said junior Deshawnte Collins.
Turnovers often are more mental than physical and the Seawolves had more turnovers along with a 63 percent free throw percentage. Their counterpart shot a very respectable 86 percent at the line.
Every player still has one goal in mind: find a way into the playoffs. “Our team goal for the rest of the season is [making] the CCAA playoff. The top 8 teams make it and we can crack that top 8 if we take care of business. Once we make playoffs anything can happen so the goal is to make playoffs.” says Hickman. The Seawolves are currently sitting in eighth place, but rival Chico and Stanislaus State are both only one win behind.
Closing games out are not easy, but starting better is an issue the Seawolves had against Cal State Dominquez Hills, “I feel like we have to have better starts to games. Other than that I think we’re fine.” says Lewayne Grant.
In the first half, the Seawolves totaled 31 points, but they upped that total in the second half to 38. Being down five at half was not bad, but with a better offensive first half, they could have had the lead.
“It’s the game within the game and little things that are fixable which is promising,” says Hickman. The Seawolves have been in a lot of close games this year and can make the adjustments possible to make this a successful season.
Leaving points out there on the free throw line has been an issue throughout the year, “We just have to make our free throws.” says Collins. He added that getting rebounds is essential, “And crash the boards much better.” Simple basketball is the best basketball emphasized the players. Once every little fundamental is cleaned up the rest will just be playing the game all these student-athletes love.
With over a month left in the season, the Seawolves have work to do but are ready to make one final push.