October 24, 2020
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Story tips, concerns, questions?

photo of Ahlisha Henderson by Glenn Marshall

By Victor Munoz and Jeremy Gonzalez

The CSUDH women’s basketball team fell in the first round of the CCAA playoffs at Cal State San Marcos 75-69 Tuesday afternoon. A few hours later, the men’s team experienced a similar abrupt finish, dropping a 68-54 contest on the road at Cal State East Bay.

For the women’s team, it was the second consecutive year they’ve made the playoffs, only to lose their first game.  They finish the season with a record of 14-15.

The Toros played catch-up most of the game, their last lead coming in the first quarter after a 6-0 run put them up 8-5 at 7:31 remaining. But though the lead shrank to as low as two several times, the Cougars never relinquished it, leading by five after the first,  eight at halftime and 10 after three.

The Toros made a late run, Nautica Morrow’s 3-pointer making it a five-point game with just under two minutes remaining. Paradise Hanchett then stole the ball and fed it to Morrow, whose 3-pointer missed. Hanchett grabbed the offensive board, but after a timeout, the Toros turned the ball over, and the Cougars made six of their final seven free throws to ice the game and advance to the second round.

Senior guard Morrow, who led the team in points the entire season (353) did not disappoint on Tuesday,  with a game-high  21. Three other Toros hit double digits, Tylore Bell (13), Ahlisha Henderson (13), and Zhane Carter (10). Henderson registered a double-double with points and 15 rebounds

Although the Toros had three players score in double-digits, their assertiveness in front of the arc came to bite them at the end. The Toros averaged 35.2 percent in field goal range, scoring 25 of 71 attempts.

But what really could have changed the story of the game would have been the free throws. Of 22 attempts the Toros only capitalized in 14, leaving eight points behind. Eight points that could have signified a 77-75 victory.  

Cal State San Marcos guard Akayla Hackson led the team in points with 20, followed by Jon’Nae Vermillion with 17.

The Cougars will face #1 ranked in CCAA, UC San Diego on Friday, March 8, in the CCAA semifinals.  

Later in the day and far north, the men’s team lost to the Cal State East Bay Pioneers 54-68.  The loss is the third consecutive year the team has failed to advance past the first round, and the fifth time since 2011, when it won the tournament.

The Toro defense held Cal State East Bay to just 31 points in the first half, but the offense struggled, and could only put up 25 points against a stout Pioneer defense. Poor field goal shooting stymied CSUDH the entire night, as they hit only 17 of 61 attempts, or 27.9 percent, versus the Pioneers’ 41.8 percent

The Toros were trying to play catch-up for a majority of the game, as they only led for 4:08 and trailed the rest of the time, being down by as many as 18 points at one point.

Freshman guard Alex Garcia led the Toros team in scoring, finishing the night with 13 points. Senior guard David Howard also reached double-digit points with 10.

The Pioneers had three players reach double figures, with guard Nai Carlisle leading all players with 21 points in the playoff game.

Cal State East Bay moves onto the semifinal round where they will host No. 2 UC San Diego. The Toros will head to the offseason early as they begin preparations for next season.

 

 

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