Golden Eagles Spoil Toros’ Homecoming

Anthony Quach, Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Cal State LA Men’s Basketball team traveled to Carson to battle the Cal State Dominguez Hill Toros in a California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) matchup. The Golden Eagles spoiled the Toros’ Homecoming Game, as they defeated their crosstown rivals, 77-57 at the Torodome.

The Golden Eagles trailed only once to the Toros throughout the entire game as they were losing 17-16 midway into the first half. Once they regained the lead, the Golden Eagles never looked back, closing out the half leading the Toros, 31-24.

After a strong first half, the Golden Eagles continued their defensive and offensive dominance over the Toros, limiting them to a 38.8 shooting percentage in the second half, and making only 3-of-18 from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles outscored the Toros in the second half, 46-33, shooting 53.8 percent and making 7-of-12 shots from 3-point range.

Overall, the Golden Eagles shot 42.3 percent from the field, and made 12-of-38 shots from 3-point range. The Toros shot 38.8 percent, making only 3-of-18 shots from 3-point range.

The Toros out-rebounded the Golden Eagles, 37-33, but gave up 22 turnovers while the Golden Eagles had only 12. The Golden Eagles capitalized on their opponent’s turnovers, scoring 25 points off the Toros while the Toros scored only 10 points respectively.

Golden Eagles’ Junior Guard Fard Muhammad led his team in scoring with 22 points, shooting 7-for-9 from the field, and was 4-for-6 from 3-point range in 20 minutes played.

“I feel like we’re in a good position to make a run right now and head up to the top of the leaderboard,” said Muhammad. “We just got to stay together, adversity happens, but staying together as a team—that’s our bread and butter.”

With the win, the Golden Eagles are now 11-8 overall this season and they remain in the top eight in the CCAA with a record of 7-6.

Golden Eagles’ Head Coach Jim Saia believes the win helps sets his team in the right direction. “When you lose two in a row at home the way we did, our spirits were down but we had a great week of practice. And our guys bought into the game plan.”

Ja’Sean Lewis, the Junior Forward for the Golden Eagles, had 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals.

“We felt like this win would set us back around in a winning direction cause we let a few games slip away,” said Lewis. “So I feel like this game picked our mojo back up and now we’re in our groove.”

The next two games for the Golden Eagles will be on the road as they travel to San Francisco State University on Thursday, Jan 31, and then they will be at Rohnert Park to battle the Sonoma State Seawolves on Saturday Feb. 2.

“We got to practice hard and have good practices before we fly out Wednesday to get ready for San Francisco,” said Coach Saia.

The Golden Eagles have a road record of 6-2, but they are 4-5 at home this season.

“To win on the road, you have to play defense, and this team has played really well on the road. We have to figure out how to win at home,” said Coach Saia.

For Lewis and his team, it’s all about staying focused while going into San Francisco.

“We got to keep playing together and buy into every game plan. We dropped one against San Francisco, so we have to go back up there and get that win back.”

In the Golden Eagles’ last match-up on Jan. 5 against San Francisco State, they were defeated by the Gators at home 88-79.

“Dominguez was the team that beat us last month and that was a bad game for us, but San Francisco was the team that really beat us,” said Muhammad. “We can use that fire from the last game as motivation.”