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February 22, 2011 > CSUEB athletic rundown

CSUEB athletic rundown

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Heading into weekend play, Cal State University-East Bay's Lady Pioneers hoops team was riding a two-game win streak. In a season mired in struggles, East Bay, 4-18 heading into its Friday, Feb. 18, match-up at CSU-Los Angeles, in its quest for a third straight victory was upended by CSULA, 61-54.

"We were mentally, emotionally and physically out of it from the tip-off," said East Bay coach Suzy Barcomb. "We tried every combination we could to generate a spark, but nothing seemed to work."

One thing that was working was the tenacity of Marlene MacMillan. In 39 minutes on the floor, the sophomore put in 10 points while grabbing 14 boards for a double-double.

"Marlene was the bright spot for us," said Barcomb.

East Bay had three players in double digits scoring. Sarah Finlay led the Pioneers with 14, and Lauren Lucchesi put in 11 to go along with MacMillan's 10. It was the first half that proved the difference in the game. LA outscored East Bay 27-20 in the first half; in the second, both teams scored 34.

"This is a lost opportunity we won't get back," said Barcomb. "Winning on the road takes focus and a tough-minded attitude and we did not show it tonight."

Also taking on CSULA was the East Bay men's team. Despite the efforts of Mark Samuels (22 points, 7 boards) and Will Freedman (12 points), the Pioneers could not get past Chris Robinson (21 points) and LA, dropping a heartbreaking 71-61 overtime game on Friday night.

LA also had double figures in scoring from Franklin Session and Carl Hoffman who scored 17 and 15 points respectively.

East Bay failed to hold onto its 11-point, 32-21 halftime lead. The trio of Robinson, Session and Hoffman helped CSULA even the game at 56 apiece at the end of regulation before storming past East Bay 15-5 in the overtime.

East Bay hoops took on Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday, Feb. 19, and both fell. While the men fell more convincingly to the No. 13 ranked team, 72-57, the Lady Pioneers were in a position to win in the final possession but were stunned. Leading 55-53 in the waning seconds, Hilarie Grant came up big for CSUDH, nailing a 3-pointer as time expired.

"This was a heartbreaking loss," said Barcomb.

MacMillan pulled down 14 boards with her nine points, while three Lady Pioneers (4-20, 4-16 CCAA) were in double figures: Kristina Lin netted 12, and Amaris Sanders and Azizi Dotson both put in 10 in the loss.

On the diamond, East Bay baseball took on No. 1 ranked UC San Diego, in La Jolla, in a four-game series over the weekend. East Bay managed to nab one game of the four, an 8-4 triumph in the first game of the Sunday, Feb. 20, doubleheader.

On Saturday, Feb. 19, East Bay fell 1-0 and 10-4 to San Diego. After the 8-4 win on Sunday, San Diego bounced back with a 7-2 win to take the game and the series. AJ Gallardo was the lone winning pitcher for East Bay over the weekend, pitching six frames and striking out one.

Meanwhile, in Long Beach, East Bay's swim team had its best finish ever in the PCSC Championships. In the four-day championship event, spanning from Wednesday, Feb. 16, through Saturday, Feb. 19, the Lady Pioneers finished with a score of 457.5, landing them a ninth-place standing. UC San Diego won the event with a final tally of 1635 points. Murphy Wimer was East Bay's top swimmer, earning three medals over the event.

Also in the water, East Bay's water polo team returned to .500 at 5-5 with a 12-8 home victory over Santa Clara on Saturday, Feb. 19. The Pioneers led virtually the whole way with Claire Pierce scoring just 40 seconds into the contest. Pierce, Whitney Bell and Sarah Hudyn led the Lady Pioneers in scoring with two goals apiece.

East Bay's Lady Pioneers softball was set to take the diamond in a four-game series themselves, theirs against Chico State in Chico, but the entire series was postponed due to in climate weather.

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