By Jeremy Gonzalez, Co-Sports Editor
Both CSUDH basketball teams are still in the mix for a playoff spot in the 2020 California Collegiate Athletic Association postseason as they enter the final stretch of the regular season.
Both teams need to finish within the top six teams in the conference in order to qualify for the postseason.
Currently, the men’s team is tied for eighth with a 5-8 conference record, sitting two and a half games back from the sixth seed, the Cal State East Bay Pioneers. The women are tied for ninth at 6-7, also sitting two and a half games back from the sixth seed team, the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos.
With eight games left on both schedules, the teams will have to make up ground in a very tight playoff race.
The men will face four teams currently in playoff position: UC San Diego, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State East Bay. The Toros lost all their first meetings against these teams earlier this season.
The fourth-ranked UC San Diego men’s team defeated the Toros by 19 points at the Torodome despite the Toros out-rebounding them and shooting 46 percent from the field. The Toros’ last victory over the Tritons was in 2017-18, when they defeated them by one point on the road. The next matchup between the two teams will be played in San Diego.
The Toros nearly beat Cal State San Bernardino on the road but lost in the final minutes after losing an 11-point lead and failing to get a clear shot on the game’s final possession. They have won their last two home games against the Coyotes and will play them at home again later this season.
The Toros were routed by 19 points in their last matchup against Cal Poly Pomona on the road. They did, however, defeat the Broncos in their last home matchup dating back to last season. The upcoming game against Cal Poly Pomona is at home for the Toros.
History does not favor the Toros against Cal State East Bay as they have not beat the Pioneers in the last 10 games, with their most recent matchup finishing in a 24-point blowout on the road.
The women also have their work cut out for them as they will play five of their remaining eight games against teams currently in a playoff position: Cal State East Bay, UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos, Cal Poly Pomona and Sonoma State. They have faced four of these teams earlier in the season, losing each game against them.
Of those four previous matchups, three of the games were lost by only seven points or less. They lost to Cal Poly Pomona on the road by seven points, Cal State East Bay on the road by six points and Sonoma State at home by four points.
The Toros’ matchup against conference-leader UC San Diego ended in a 22-point shellacking at home in the Torodome. They have not beaten the Tritons in the last seven games.
The Toros face the second-best team in the conference, Cal State San Marcos, just once this season. They failed to pick up a victory in both of last season’s meetings.
The next home matches for the Toros basketball teams will be on Thursday Feb. 6 and Saturday Feb. 8 when they face Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay. Thursday night’s match-ups are set to tip-off at 5:30 p.m. for the women and 7:30 p.m. for the men. Saturday’s match-ups are set to begin at 1:00 p.m. for the women and 3:00 p.m. for the men.