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February 11, 2014 > Pioneer Basketball Report

Pioneer Basketball Report

Submitted By Steve Connolly

Comeback falls short

The Cal State East Bay men's basketball team nearly erased an 18-point second-half deficit Thursday, February 6th at Humboldt State, but ultimately fell short, losing 84-80 at Lumberjack Arena. Four players scored in double figures for the Pioneers (7-14, 4-11 CCAA), who shot the ball well as a team. East Bay is still in search of its first road victory in the CCAA, however.

The Pioneers made 46.2 percent of their field goals, 47.6 percent (10-21) of their three-pointers, and a remarkable 88 percent (22-25) of their free throws. It just wasn't quite enough to overcome a hot Jacks team that posted a 53.4 team field goal percentage, scored 36 points in the paint, and out-rebounded the Pioneers 31 to 27.

"Humboldt made timely plays throughout the game, and we couldn't quite get over the hump," said head coach Gus Argenal. "This group has battled at an extremely high level every game, but we need consistent focus on the defensive end."

Gabe Kindred paced the Pioneers with 20 points to go along with four steals, four assists, and four rebounds. The senior helped initiate East Bay's late comeback by forcing turnovers and getting to the free throw line down the stretch. He finished 5-for-11 from the floor and 9-for-10 from the stripe, posting his team-leading eighth 20-point game of the season.

Fellow Oakland native Jarred Jourdan was a consistent scoring threat for East Bay as well, notching 19 points one game after scoring a season high of 20 at CSUDH. Jourdan was 6-for-14 shooting with three assists and three boards, and he had his best free-throw shooting game this season, making 6-of-7.

Nick Grieves went 3-for-6 from long distance and scored 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half. The junior was a perfect 4-for-4 at the line in 25 minutes off the bench. Also giving the Pioneers quality bench minutes was Donavon Jackson, who had a hot hand in his 26 minutes. Jackson scored 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting, including 3-for-3 on triples.

Jacari Whitfield added six points and a team-high five assists. Freshman center Kyle Frakes scored five points and led all players with five rebounds. Ryan Hebebrand, East Bay's other frontcourt starter, grabbed three boards.

Senior Kenneth Farr II was also active on the glass, notching three rebounds in just three minutes of court time. The Pioneers were without senior Mark Samuels, who missed his second straight game with an injury.

Humboldt State led 39-36 at the break as both teams shot over 50 percent in the first half. The Jacks then came out and scored the first seven points of the second half to take a double-digit lead. The home team eventually stretched its lead to 17 points with eight minutes left to play, and things looked grim for East Bay.

However, back-to-back three-pointers by Jackson gave the Pioneers some life, and they rattled off a 16-2 scoring run to cut their deficit to three. East Bay couldn't manage to get any closer, though, as the Jacks had an answer for every Pioneer bucket in the final three minutes.

East Bay Stymied by Nation's Top-Ranked Defense

The Cal State East Bay men's basketball team was bested on the road on Saturday, February 8th by No. 18 Cal Poly Pomona, 73-53. The Pioneers (7-15, 4-12, CCAA) shot 32.1 percent as a team against a Bronco squad that leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 58.5 points per game.Ê

East Bay is still in search of its first win in an opponent's gym this season. Pomona (16-4, 14-2 CCAA), meanwhile, rights the ship following an upset loss to Cal State Monterey Bay on Thursday that snapped a 13-game winning streak.

"When you play against the top teams in the CCAA, you have to have a focus and edge that's consistent for 40 minutes," said head coach Gus Argenal after the game. "Coach Kamansky's team wins regularly because of their stellar defense, and tonight was no different. We played hard in the first half, but missed key rebounds and assignments. I loved that we bounced back and played a more complete second half."

The Pioneers trailed 34-18 at halftime after shooting just 20 percent in the first 20 minutes collectively (6-for-30). They played the Broncos nearly even after the break, posting a 46.2 field percentage and almost doubling their first-half point total with 35 in the second half.Ê

Gabe Kindred and Jarred Jourdan were the team's top scorers with nine points each, although the pair combined to shoot 5-for-18 from the floor. This marks the first game all season that not a single East Bay player scored in double figures.

Ryan Hebebrand notched seven points and led all players with 11 rebounds in a team-high 30 minutes. It's the second 11-board game in as many Saturdays for the senior from Livermore.Ê

Kenneth Farr II got his first start of the season and the second of his four-year career, finishing with two rebounds and a block before fouling out.Ê

Freshman Aaron Cameron was effective for the Pioneers off the bench, setting career highs in minutes played (14), points (7), and rebounds (4). Junior Nick Grieves also posted seven points, going 3-for-12 from the field.

Senior Donavon Jackson and freshman Kyle Frakes both scored six points with Jackson dishing out two assists and Frakes grabbing five rebounds.

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