Another heartbreaking loss for men’s basketball

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Brian Delgado

Michael Wright (3) makes a last ditch effort to make the shot.

Denae Ayala, Staff Reporter

Saturday, the Golden Eagles got off to a great start, but some offensive struggles in the second half resulted in a last minute win by Cal State East Bay. The final score was 75-73.

“We played a great game, maybe one of the best games we played all year. We really moved the ball and executed. We made enough plays to win, we were up by four points with only two minutes to go and we just couldn’t finish the game,” said head coach Jim Saia. 

“We played so hard on the court and to lose by a bucket hurts, but I know we’re going to bounce back. We are the best team in the conference and we will prove that, just watch,” said guard Michael-Isaiah Ajiboye. 

Ajiboye played an outstanding second half, and was everywhere for Cal State LA. He grabbed rebounds, put the ball in the basket and knocked down free throws when his team needed them most. Two of those made free throws got the Golden Eagles the lead with 47 seconds left.  

However, his efforts wouldn’t be enough as Pioneers backup guard Julian Lopez, was fearless down the stretch hitting a pair of threes late in the second half, one of them being the game-ending basket.  

There were some bright spots for the black and gold. Cal State LA shot 47.3 percent overall compared to their opponent’s 45.8 percent. 

There were also three Golden Eagles in double figures: Ajiboye had 19 points and two rebounds, Jordan Rogers had 15 points and two rebounds, and Khalil Williams had 14 points with four rebounds and 3 steals. 

For now, the Golden Eagles will be looking to fight for a spot in playoffs. The top eight teams make the CCAA tourney. Cal State LA currently sits in eighth place with an overall record of 11-11.  

Saia said the team doesn’t need to make changes, they just need to continue to fight and get better down the stretch. “The main focus going into the next games is that we have six seniors and they have to decide how they want to finish.” 

The Golden Eagles will continue their season on the road Thursday against Cal State San Marcos.