California State University, Monterey Bay’s (CSUMB) men’s basketball team came up short against Cal Poly Pomona, losing the close game 68-71 on Feb. 24.
The Broncos’ 2-3 zone defense challenged the Otter offense in the early minutes, allowing Pomona to secure an early lead.
Forward guard Kyle Johnson (#1) helped CSUMB find its footing in The Kelp Bed, completing a turnaround jump shot followed by an impressive dunk.
A steal by Tommy Kramer (#14) set the stage for the Otters to find a 16-point lead-in end of the first half, sending the ball to senior guard Jordan May (#12), who secured a layup before the Broncos could respond.
CSUMB head coach Isaac Williams cautioned the team to wait out the clock and maintain possession with 30 seconds on the clock.
May found his way into the paint in the final 3 seconds, scoring a layup and closing the half 37-30.
The second half was a tight back and forth battle between both teams, the Broncos inching towards the lead, but the Otters claimed control of the scoreboard after a putback dunk scored by Johnson.
Senior forward Noah Stapes (#23) delivered on Thursday night with his three back-to-back 3-pointers, leaving CSUMB fans at the edge of their seats as the team found their way back to a 50-49 lead.
Pomona’s defense caught up with CSUMB, preventing them from completing shots and neutralizing their accuracy as the game came to a close.
The Otters prepare for the CCAA tournament in Arcata next week.