Emotional Loss for Men’s Basketball

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Denae Ayala

Golden Eagles lose against San Francisco State in a home game of 72-73.

Denae Ayala, Staff Reporter

Tears fell for guard Khalil Williams as his teammates carried him off the court. With just two seconds left on the shot clock and the Golden Eagles down by one point, Williams hurried a shot that swished in. The cheers from the stands were interrupted by the referee’s whistle, as he motioned a traveling call. Turnover. San Francisco State would get the ball back with the lead and just one second remaining in the game. 

The Eagles home game ended 73-72 in favor of the Gators on Thursday.

“The guys all like each other, they stick together and they care. Their chemistry is good, there was a lot of tears in that locker room,” said Head Coach Jim Saia. 

Saia said the traveling call was not the reason why his team lost the game. He felt there wasn’t a high enough level of aggression from the start and the other team came out ready to play. “They had a game plan and our kids have to learn how to play for the whole forty minutes, and we haven’t been able to do that.”

Offensively the Golden Eagles shot 25-52 from the field, 10-31 from behind the arc, and 12-24 from the free throw line.

Guard Michael-Isaiah Ajiboye led the team in scoring with 19 points and had 2 rebounds going 4-4 from the three point line. Right behind him was guard Shacquille Dawkins with 15 points and 5 assists. Guard Fard Muhammad had 12 points with 4 assists. Forward Michael Wright went 4-7 and had 9 points. 

Although they struggled defensively in the first half, they made up for it in the second with timely blocks, steals, and deflections.

Overall, the squad had 21 defensive rebounds, 8 blocks, 12 steals, and scored 20 points off turnovers. 

The Gators’s largest lead of the game was in the first half when they led 41-24. Dawkins felt it was the team’s communication on the court that got them back into the game.

“From the bench to the red shirts, everyone was just talking to each other and we are just into it, it was good,” said Dawkins.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, coach Saia said he was proud of the team for fighting back and he believes his team will continue to fight and get back into the “CCAA race.”  

The Golden Eagles are now 5-4, and will travel to Turlock to face Stanislaus State (6-2) on Saturday.