Broncos cruise past Southwestern

POMONA – It’s been a long time since the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos
won a game without senior standout Larry Gordon. In fact coach Greg
Kamansky couldn’t remember the last time.

But the Broncos did that, cruising past visiting NAIA opponent
Southwestern (Kan.) 73-39 Monday at Kellogg Gymnasium in the final
nonconference tuneup.

Gordon, a first-team all conference selection the last two years,
scored just 12 points and took only eight shots but others picked up
the slack. Walter Thompson tallied a team-high 14 and Austin Swift
was next with 13. All 10 players that dressed figured in the scoring.

“It didn’t happen that was on purpose,” Thompson said of
Gordon’s more limited role. “We’re just an unselfish team. We look
for the open man and other guys were hitting some shots.”

The game may have ended up a blowout, but it didn’t start out that
way. Both teams played like they were still on Christmas vacation in
the first half. The visitors went out to a 5-0 lead on a 3-pointer by
Marcus Batiste and a pair of free throws by Tim Moore just 45 seconds
into the game.

But the Moundbuilders then went 10 minutes and 20 seconds without
scoring, going 0-for-10 with seven turnovers in that stretch. An
inside bucket by 6-10 center David King snapped the dought but the
Broncos (5-2) hardly blew the game open in the meantime.

That bucket only made it 17-7 and Southwestern got back to within
three at 25-22 with 1:40 left in the half. A 3-pointer by Jimmy
Miyasaka and a baseline jumper by Dwayne Fells gave the Broncos a
30-22 lead at the half.

It wasn’t until the second half that the Broncos turned the game
into a rout. Thompson chalked up eight in a 16-4 Cal Poly run to
start the second half, punctuated by a 3-pointer that made it 46-26.

“The first half we just didn’t shoot well,” Kamansky said. “It’s
not that we didn’t play hard. With this team it’s that simple. That’s
our style of play aznd we play good defense. We just shoot ourselves
in the foot sometimes.”

The Broncos shot 45.2 percent (28-for-62) for the game but were
just 31.3 percent (10-for-32) in the first half. They finished with a
44-28 advantage on the boards with Gordon and Tobias Jahn snagging
nine rebounds each. Swift and Dahir Nasser had four assists each.

The Moundbuilders managed just 29.1 percent (16-for-55) and had 18

It was the Broncos best defensive effort since they held San
Francisco State to 37 in 2001, Kamansky’s first season. It was also
just the third time a foe has been held under 40 since 1961 when
records were kevpt.

“It was good to come back and have a game like that to shake off
the rust before we go back to conference play,” he said. “We’re not
going to have any more games like that.”

The Broncos resume CCAA play Friday, hosting Chico State at 7:30
p.m. Cal State Stanislaus then comes in for a Saturday game.

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