Dec. 5, 2010

Courtesy of Cal State L.A. Athletics

Cal State L.A.s mens basketball team got a big win over another long-time nemesis.

This time, the Golden Eagles came up big down the stretch and pulled out a 50-45 win over defending NCAA Division II champion and No. 1 ranked Cal Poly Pomona in a California Collegiate Athletic Association contest Saturday night.

On Friday, Cal State L.A. ended a 24-game losing streak with a win over Cal State San Bernardino. On Saturday, the Golden Eagles posted their first home win over Cal Poly Pomona since a 75-73 overtime victory on Dec. 4, 1999. Cal State L.A. had snapped a 19-game losing streak against Cal Poly Pomona on Jan. 16 last season in Kellogg Gym, 54-53.

Franklin Session led the way with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and five big steals. Chris Robinson had 15 points and six rebounds. Leland Jones had six points and eight rebounds.

Tobias Jahn led the Broncos with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Donnelle Booker had 11 points and six rebounds.

Cal State L.A. (5-1, 2-1 CCAA) won the game with some clutch play down the stretch. After trailing, 40-38, with 5:15 to go, the Golden Eagles outscored the Broncos (1-2, 0-2 CCAA), 12-5, the rest of the way. A pair of free throws by Ryan Wetherell tied it at 40-40 and the Golden Eagles got a jumper from Robinson to take the lead for good at 42-40 with 1:59 to play.

The key play of the game was a steal by Session, who was fouled intentionally from behind by Cal Poly Pomonas Matt Rosser as he went in for a layup. Session was still able to make the basket and he completed a free throw to make it 45-40 with 1:40 to go. Another steal by Session led to a pair of free throws by Wetherell that made it 47-40 with 1:06 remaining and the Golden Eagles held on over the final minute.

The Golden Eagles defense was outstanding and limited Cal Poly Pomona to just six second-half baskets and an overall shooting percentage of 39.5 percent. Cal State L.A. shot just 32.7 percent (18-of-55), but held its own on the boards (Cal Poly Pomona held just a 37-36 advantage) and forced 16 Cal Poly Pomona turnovers while committing only eight.

Cal Poly Pomona was just 12-of-26 from the free-throw line, while Cal State L.A. was just 12-of-22.

For the second night in a row, Cal State L.A. fought back from a halftime deficit. On Friday, they came back from a 10-point deficit against Cal State San Bernardino. On Saturday, they were down by just four, 25-21. Cal Poly Pomona led by as many as seven points early, 12-5, but the Golden Eagles fought back and took their first lead of the game at 18-17 with 2:45 remaining in the half. The Broncos got a late 3-pointer from Booker and a jumper by Kevin Menner with three seconds left in the half to take their 25-21 halftime lead.

The Golden Eagles quickly tied the game in the opening minute of the second half on baskets by David Norris and Session. Cal State L.A. took its first lead of the second half at 29-27 on a thunderous dunk by Session off a pass from Wetherell.

Cal Poly Pomona moved out to a four-point edge at 35-31 after a free throw by Jahn, but a 3-pointer by Robinson and a layup by Jones put the Golden Eagles back ahead, 36-35, with 7:20 remaining.

A free throw by Dwayne Fells gave the Broncos their final lead at 40-38, but two free throws by Wetherell and a basket by Robinson gave the Golden Eagles the lead for good.

Cal State L.A. will return to action with a game on Sunday afternoon against Dominican at 2 p.m. in the Eagles Nest.