by Curran Daly
Humboldt State’s 65-56 loss to Sonoma State on February 23, creates a win and in situation for the Lumberjacks heading into the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
The Lumberjacks started strong jumping out to a 13-3 lead in the first five minutes of the game. The Jacks were able to keep their 10 point lead throughout the half leading 39-29 at the half.
“We almost scored 40 points in the first half,” Coach Steve Kinder said, “so it was about us scoring and being able to play free against their regionally touted defence.”
Despite the great first half, the Lumberjacks were not able to close out the game with a win. In the second half Sonoma State’s defence was able to hold the Lumberjacks to just 17 points.
“We played tentative, non aggressive, nonchalant basketball,” Coach Kinder said, “and for some reason we took a step back on our heels and lost confidence.”
The Lumberjacks committed 24 personal fouls and sent Sonoma State to the line 31 times. The high number of fouls meant that the Lumberjacks were forced to rotate their squad. Leaving the team missing key members, like Redshirt Sophomore Tyras Rattler Jr, as the game began to wind down.
“We had a lot of fouls and they just capitalized on offense,” Rattler said, “and we wasn’t making shots in the second half.”
The loss left the Lumberjacks with a 7-12 conference record and 13-14 overall record. The Lumberjacks currently sit in 8th place in the conference just on the edge of making the CCAA tournament.
One game behind Cal State Los Angeles, 8-11, and one game ahead of Cal State San Bernardino,7-12, the Lumberjacks can control their future with a win. If the Lumberjacks win their next game against San Francisco State, 15-4, they will guarantee their spot in the tournament. If the Lumberjacks lose their next game they could miss out on the tournament if San Bernardino were to defeat Cal State Dominguez Hills, 10-9.
The Lumberjacks play San Francisco State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday 25 in the Lumberjack Arena.