The California Baptist University basketball season is at its one-month mark, and the men’s and women’s teams put up a fight for wins over the Thanksgiving holiday.
While the women played two away games in Los Angeles, the men hosted the annual Ayres Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 28-29, bringing in Dixie State University, Texas A&M University-Commerce and California State University at Stanislaus, as opponents.
The first opponent in the classic for the Lancers was Texas A&M, and the game went down to the wire. The Lancers started off slow and struggled to gain momentum which resulted in an early deficit. The men were able to come back and make a run for a win in the second half, but a loose-ball foul was called on the Lancers with little more than one second remaining in the game. The call resulted in Texas A&M winning by two free throws.
The Lancers entered the game ranked as the 11th team in the nation in the NCAA Division II. The game ended with a score of 68-67.
However, during the next day the men made a comeback in the first half as they took an early 11-point lead by the a score of 42-31. The second half brought the same level of hard work as the Lancers were able to outscore their opponent by 16 points, finishing the game 80-53. At the conclusion of the classic, their record was 5-1.
Rick Croy, head coach of the men’s basketball team, said he is proud of the way his team came out and was able to pull away from CSUS in the second half of the game.
“We really just wanted to continue what we were doing, which was sharing the ball, making the extra pass and attacking the paint,” Croy said.
Ryan Berg, sophomore business administration major and guard for the men’s basketball team, said he believes he and his team are ready for more.
“Getting this win gave us the momentum that we needed, and we’re just excited for PacWest play,” Berg said.
Trevone Williams, junior sociology major and forward for the men’s basketball team, said the team came out against CSUS with the mindset to play better defense.
“We played a lot differently,” Williams said. “We wanted to be more aggressive as well as more disciplined with fouls.”
While the men struggled for their win, the women’s basketball team notched two more victories to their record, winning against both California State University at Dominguez Hills and CSULA.
In their first game against CSUDH, the team was able to jump ahead in the first half with an 39-28 lead. The second half was quite different as CSUDH was able to keep up with the Lancers, but not enough to erase the deficit.
The game was dominated by the outside shooting of Courtney Nelson, sophomore undeclared major and guard for the CBU women’s basketball team, who was able to score 30 points for the team.
In their second game against CSULA, the Lancers experienced a back-and-forth fight for the entire 40-minute game. Neither team was able to pull away, but the Lancer women were able to hold a small lead for most of the game.
Darsha Burnside, junior early childhood studies major and forward and center for the team, was a key contributor in the paint for the Lancers. She scored 17 points and was able to get 15 rebounds, which in the end carried the Lancers to a 70-65 victory.
The women now have a record of 6-1 overall and have momentum going forward as they get ready to host PacWest opponent Dixie State University on Dec. 6.