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Sweet Homecoming: Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams Get Huge Victories

Edward Saldana, Contributor

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Homecoming was a night to remember for the Cal State LA Golden basketball teams and the fans who attended the games. Before tip off homecoming festivities took place outside the school’s gym. There were long lines of students waiting to get a quick bite from Pinks hot dogs. Also in the University Club, alumni came back and socialized with one another. Students who attended the game got a rally towel and a Cal State LA T-Shirt. Both the men’s and the women’s basketball teams came out with great victories Thursday night. The women’s game started at 5:30p.m. and the men’s game followed.

The women’s basketball team came in with a record of 11-12. They were 7-1 at home. For their homecoming game, they played against the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes. They started the game with a perfect first quarter. They went on a 25-8 to run to open the game. After that there was no looking back, they kept the momentum throughout the entire game. The Golden Eagles dominated the game and won the game 71-53.

Coach Cheryl Miller was more than pleased on how her team performed. Coach Miller was asked about how important having home court is. “Our motto at the beginning of the season was not to lose any games at home.” So far, they only lost one home game this entire season. They have two more home games remaining on their schedule.

The Golden Eagles were led by their senior guard Samantha Lee. She had an outstanding game and lead the Golden Eagles in scoring with 23 points. She was 6-9 from the the 3-point line. This is what she had to say after her great performance: “My teammates trust me, I trust my teammates. They pass me the ball and I have to knock down my shot.” However, after this lights out performance, she still wasn’t done. During the men’s basketball at halftime, she nailed the half-court shot. For Samantha Lee, it was a night for her to remember for a long time. Samantha Lee is the only Senior on this Golden Eagle roster and there is a lot of young talent on this team that will return next season for coach Cheryl Miller. Most of the roster is filled with freshman.

With this victory, the women’s team has an overall record of 12-12. They improved to 8-1 at home. They are currently 3-10 on the road with two crucial road games coming up. In a neutral site, they are 1-1. In Conference play this season, the women’s basketball team has an overall record of 9-7.

After the women’s excellent performance, it was time for the men’s basketball game. The men’s team overall record coming into this game was 12-12. They were 7-3 at home this season before this homecoming game. This game was close throughout. It was a neck and neck battle between the Golden Eagles and the Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes. The first half was a back and forth affair. At halftime, the score was all tied up at 30-30. The big highlight of the first half was when senior guard Roderick Evans-Taylor threw down a monster dunk that made the fans get out of their seats. That dunk alone electrified the crowd.

When the Golden Eagles started the second half very slow. They quickly found themselves trailing early in the second half. The Golden eagles called a timeout to settle things down.“The second half, we didn’t come out of the gates very good and we were very lethargic. Our small ball lineup with Roderick and Travis at the four and five has kind of been our saving grace this year,” said coach Jim Saia.

The Golden Eagles stormed back to take the lead mid-way through the second half. The team quickly found their scoring touch and before you know they regained the lead. The game came down to the wire and the team pulled out a close one. The final score of the game was 71-70. Free throws came in clutch near the end of the game. The team as a whole shot 10-13 from the free throw line. It played a key difference in the game.

Senior forward Travis Hammonds led the scoring for Cal State LA Golden Eagles. Senior guards Roderick Evans-Taylor and Jordan Wilson also helped by scoring 15 points each. With the victory, the men’s team improved to record of 13-12. They are 8-3 at home. On the road the Golden Eagles are 4-8. Just like the women’s basketball team, the men’s team have crucial road games ahead of them. In neutral site games, they are 1-1. In Conference play, this season the men’s basketball team as of right now, has an overall record of 8-8.

The Golden Eagles men’s and women’s basketball teams have four games left in the regular season. Their next game for both teams is on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Eagle’s Nest. They take on UC San Diego. Then they go on the road for two games. The games are back to back. On Feb. 17, they take on Sonoma State. Then on Feb. 18, they travel to the Bay Area to take on San Francisco State. On Feb. 25, they return home for the season finale to take on Cal State San Marcos. It will be the last home game for the seniors of the men’s and women’s teams as their career at Cal State LA comes to a close. The last home game of the year will be dedicated to the seniors of both teams. Both teams hope that they have a strong finish to the regular season. The last four opponents for the men’s and women’s basketball teams are in conference play. They are all very crucial matchups. The CCAA Tournament Championship starts shortly after the regular season finishes.

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Sweet Homecoming: Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams Get Huge Victories