Off to the Playoffs

After clinching a playoff spot, the Golden Eagles look ahead to face the Gators in the first round

Photo courtesy of Cal State LA Athletic Department.

Anthony Quach, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Feb. 28, the Cal State LA men’s basketball team wrapped up their regular season in comeback fashion, with a 67-65 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) victory over the Stanislaus State Warriors on the road.

The battle went down to the wire but it was the Golden Eagles who emerged victorious and escaped Turlock with a victory in their regular season finale.

“We did not play our best basketball and we did not have Ja’Sean Lewis either, but we are fortunate and happy we went on the road and got a win,” said Golden Eagle head coach Jim Saia.

With their backs against the wall in the second half, the Golden Eagles began their comeback as they went on a 18-3 run to tie the game at 51-51.

After a successful layup by senior guard Kenneth Cyprian, the Golden Eagles finally got their first lead of the game, 59-58.

The Golden Eagles’ defense would play a crucial role in their comeback, as they forced 28 turnovers against the Warriors and scored 36 points off of those turnovers.

“You got to get stops,” said Coach Saia. “Our defense wins games our offense comes and goes. When we got on our defensive pressure, we wore them down and that’s how we came back in the game.”

With the win, the Golden Eagles are now 17-11 overall this season and finished fifth overall in the CCAA with a conference record of 13-9.

The Golden Eagles will begin the first round of the CCAA tournament on the road against the San Francisco Gators today at the main gym at Don Nasser Family Plaza.

The Golden Eagles boast one of the best overall road records in the CCAA, as they are 9-4 away from home this season.

“We play well on the road, and it’s a playoff game and anything can happen in a playoff game. It’s a new season for everybody,” Coach Saia. “The team that really shows up, executes and makes the plays down the stretch, they’re going to win the game.”