By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
The CSUDH men’s basketball team extended their winning streak to six games with a convincing 80-73 victory over the Purdue Northwest Pride on Wednesday afternoon in the Torodome.
Both teams were coming off victories over Dominican University in the DH Thanksgiving Classic. The Toros defeated Dominican Monday 65-64 thanks to a go-ahead three-pointer from guard Alex Garcia in the final seconds of the game. Purdue Northwest emerged victorious 81-77 in an overtime match Tuesday against Dominican.
Garcia and Colten Kresl got the
In the second half, the Toros battled back to tie the game at 50 with 15:37 left. Neither team was able to score for three and a half minutes before the Toros broke the deadlock and took the lead 52-50 with 12:22 left to play, a lead they would hold on to for the remainder of the game. The Toros were up by as many as 13 points in the second half and ended up winning by seven points, 80-73.
Garcia led the charge on offense as he reached a career-high 24 points in Wednesday’s matchup. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Garcia thanked his coaches, family and teammates for helping him through his career, but also recognized that his own hard work is paying off.
“I’ve been working every day since I was 12 years old,” Garcia said. “I haven’t taken a day off from shooting so that’s the real factor.”
Toros guard Wonder Smith added a double-double, scoring 17 points with 10 assists while Kresl finished with 14 points.
Halftime adjustments proved to be huge and paid off for CSUDH. The Toros defense held the Pride to just 27 points in the second half after allowing 46 points in the first half of the game. The Toros were also able to limit their turnovers, only turning the ball over four times after going into halftime with nine turnovers.
After opening the season 0-2, the Toros win streak has propelled them to a 6-2 overall record with a 2-0 conference record, sitting in second place in the standings behind UC San Diego.
“We’ve started to establish ourselves as one of the better rebounding teams in the conference,” Becker said.
The Toros currently rank second in the CCAA in both offensive and defensive rebounds.
The Toros enjoy a week off before returning to conference play, facing off against Cal State East Bay on the road Thursday Dec. 5. The Pioneers are 5-2 overall on the season, coming off an 89-83 road victory over Saint Martin’s University. The Toros have not beaten the Pioneers in their last nine matchups, dating back to the 2014-15 season.
The most recent matchup between the two teams was the first round of the CCAA playoffs last season, where the Pioneers beat the Toros 68-54 at the Pioneer Gymnasium.
Tip-off for the Dec.