Golden Eagles’ Comeback Falls Short Against the Seawolves

Courtesy of Sarah Macias - Sonoma State Sports Information Coordinator

Courtesy of Sarah Macias - Sonoma State Sports Information Coordinator

Anthony Quach, Staff Reporter

After snapping their eight-game losing streak in a 50-39 victory over the San Francisco State Gators last Thursday, the Cal State LA Women’s Basketball team looked to pick up another win on the road as they travel to Rohnert Park to battle the Sonoma State Seawolves in the Wolves’ Den for a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) game on Saturday, Feb. 2.

However, the Golden Eagles had to settle for a split on the road, as they were defeated by the Seawolves, 66-63.

The Seawolves jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, stifling the Golden Eagles’ offense as the Seawolves led 26-9 after one quarter.

The second quarter was no different for the Seawolves and at one point, they led the Golden Eagles by as many as 19 points. At the end of the second quarter, the Golden Eagles trailed, 39-22.

The Golden Eagles only shot 26.9 percent from the field, while the Seawolves shot 51.7 percent from the field.

The Golden Eagles came back in the second half, outscoring the Seawolves 19-13 in the third quarter. They continued to pressure the Seawolves offensively and defensively and after a 3-pointer by Golden Eagles’ Guard, Alyssa Fisher; the score became 52-48.

The Golden Eagles continued their rally into the 4th quarter, bringing the deficit down to three after a successful 3-point attempt by the Golden Eagles’ Guard, Christine Delapina, with the Seawolves leading, 66-63, with one-minute left in the game.

After a missed layup by Sonoma State, the Golden Eagles had the opportunity to tie the game and send it into overtime. Unfortunately, after two missed 3-point attempts, the Golden Eagles fell to the Seawolves.

“The ladies played to the best of their abilities,” said Golden Eagles’ interim Head Coach Torino Johnson. “We didn’t make enough plays to win the game against Sonoma.”

The Golden Eagles outscored the Seawolves in the second half, 41-27, shooting 45.5 percent from the field and making 5-of-12 from 3-point range. The Seawolves shot 26.1 percent and made only 2-of-7 shots from 3-point range.

For Coach Johnson, it was a tale of two halves for the Golden Eagles.
“In the first half, we didn’t compete the way I like our team to compete. In the second half we dominated, but it wasn’t enough because we dug ourselves a significant hole at the end of the first quarter which was really hard to overcome.”

Golden Eagles’ Junior Guard, Mackenzie Barnes, led her team in scoring with 16 points, picking up six rebounds and three blocks. Fisher had 12 points and four rebounds for the Golden Eagles, while Delapina scored 11 points and had 7 assists.

With the Saturday’s loss, the Golden Eagles overall record drops to 7-12, as they remain in 12th place of the CCAA with a record of 4-11. The Golden Eagles remain three games out of eighth place in the CCAA with seven games remaining on their schedule.

Despite the season coming to a close, Coach Johnson and the Golden Eagles will focus on their fundamentals.

“We have to stay fundamentally sound to what our principles are. We can’t focus on any perceived pressure,” said Coach Johnson. “We just need to focus on things we can control like our effort and energy in practice. We all want to win and we have a job to do.”

The Golden Eagles’ next game will be at home as they take on the Cal State East Bay Pioneers in their 2019 Homecoming Game on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Coach Johnson hopes the Homecoming environment will play a factor in the Golden Eagles success this Thursday against the Pioneers. “I’m hoping that it’s a home court advantage and that East Bay is overwhelmed by the Homecoming atmosphere”

The last time the Golden Eagles faced the Pioneers was on Dec. 1 in Hayward, CA, where Pioneers defeated the Golden Eagles, 53-51.

“If we get out on the floor and we play to the level that I believe we’re able to play at, I’m hopeful that it will yield a win,” said Coach Johnson. “There’s some work to do in practice, but I’m looking forward to it.”