For a while it looked like the Warriors men's basketball team was going to set a new team record for holding the Pioneers under 40 points. That's until the final, wild, final 40 seconds of the game. In the end, Stanislaus State was able to hang on to beat Cal State East Bay, 54-50, Saturday night.
Stanislaus State will take a 3-1 California Collegiate Athletic Association (4-5 overall) record into the Christmas break before flipping the calendar and host home games on New Year's weekend.
In the low-scoring affair Saturday night, the Warriors were holding East Bay down in the 30s in scoring in the final minutes of the game. An Alek Carlson trey at 2:56 gave the Warriors their biggest lead at 12 points at 44-32. But the Pioneers woke-up and made a run.
The Warriors, whose record for low-points allowed by the opponent was 42, still had a chance for that feat. The score was 46-38 with 45 seconds left to play. Then, East Bay scored 12 points in the final 37 seconds of the contest — including two three-pointers by Jordan Balser and six made free throws.
Two Jalen Richards free throws with seven ticks left had cut the gap to two points, 52-50. Christian Bayne nailed the final two free throws to seal the win for Stan State.
Bayne was the Warriors' top scorer with 16 points as he hit five of six free throws in the game's final 45 seconds. Bayne has now led the team in scoring in five of the nine games this season. He has also scored in double figures in all nine games. Kyi Thomas added eight points and Carlson finished with seven points.
Cal State East Bay (4-6, 1-3 CCAA) was led by Ryan Okwudibonye with 14 points. He scored 12 of those points in the first half. Balser finished with 11 points with three three-pointers. The Pioneers shot just 28.1 percent for the game and 4 of 21 from the arch.
Stanislaus will host Cal State L.A. on New Year's Day at the Ed & Bertha Fitzpatrick Arena at 7:30 p.m. The Warriors will also host first-year member Cal State San Marcos on Jan. 2, also at 7:30 p.m.
Warrior women suffer loss at East Bay
The Warriors women's basketball team made just two field goals in the fourth quarter to allow host Cal State East Bay to run away with an otherwise close game as Stanislaus State was not able to recover from a poor shooting night in a 69-47 loss Saturday night.
The Warriors were just 2-for-17 — and missed their first nine shots — in the fourth quarter as they end the 2015 calendar year with the set-back to fall to 6-4 overall and 2-2 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.
Stanislaus State will be happy to welcome in a new year in 2016 with home games on New Year's weekend, Jan. 1 and 2, when the Warriors host Cal State L.A. and Cal State San Marcos. The Warriors are 3-0 at home so far this season.
Saturday night, though, the Warriors shot just 25 percent in a low-scoring first half, but remained in the game even though Cal State East Bay led from the tip. It was a six-point game at the end of the first and third quarters while the Pioneers held a seven-point lead at halftime.
But, East Bay took advantage of the Warriors' fourth quarter struggles shooting the basketball to out-scored Stan State, 24-8, in the decisive final period.
Reana Hardin finally made a basket at 2:42 to end the team's 0-for-9 draught in the fourth but by then CSUEB had built an 18-point lead. Ana Burch's three-pointer at 65-47 with 1:00 left to play accounted for the other made basket for the Warriors.
In the end, Burch finished with 10 points to lead the team while Alysa Valentine had nine and Hardin finished with seven points.
The much-improved Cal State East Bay team improved to 4-0 in conference play and 9-2 overall. The Pioneers were led by Tori Breshers with 21 points. Shannon Bland added 20 points and Laci Effenberger had 16.
Stan State was also out-rebounded 46-31 and was called for more than twice as many fouls (22-8). The final shooting percentage for the Warriors was 27.9 percent. Another stat line that continues to haunt Stanislaus is opponent's points off turnovers. The Pioneers scored 24 points off 15 turnovers.