By Michelle Gardner
SAN BERNARDINO – This season nothing has come easy for the Cal
State San Bernardino men’s basketball team. So it probably isn’t
surprising that the Coyotes lost a nine-point lead late and needed
overtime before prevailing 86-84 over visiting Humboldt State Friday
at Coussoulis Arena.
The Coyotes (14-9, 12-5) came in desperate for a win after losing
its last two games and falling out of the West Region poll. The win
move puts the Coyotes in second place in the CCAA with three games to
go but they still have to get back into the regional rankings.
“We were desperate and we’re still desperate,” Coyotes coach Jeff
Oliver said. “It’s still the little things. If we make a free throw
it doesn’t come down to that.”
The Coyotes led 86-81 with just 20 seconds left but that lead was
not safe. The Jacks (19-8, 12-5) got a 3-pointer from Zac Tiedman
with seven second left to draw closer 86-84. Brown was then fouled
immediately and he missed both free throws, giving the Jacks life
because they got the loose ball.
The visitors rushed up court and got the ball into the hands of
Kyle Baxter who drove the lane and laid it in as time expired. But
the game-tying basket was waved off as Baxter was called for charging.
The Coyotes went 24-for-43 at the line, their third straight
sub-par showing from there. They missed several other tries late that
prevented them from putting the game away.
Brown, who scored 29 points but went only 5 for 13 from the
stripe, also missed two with the Coyotes up 83-77 in overtime as
well as two in regulation with the game even at 69 and a minute left.
The Coyotes went ahead 72-69 as Lawrence Tyson drained a
3-pointer from the corner with 30 seconds left. But that lead too was
shortlived as the Lumberjacks came back with Ernie Spada countering
with a trey over the outstretched arms of Tim Denson to even the
score again, this time at 72 with 12 seconds remaining.
“We didn’t make it a point of telling them to no three’s,”
Oliver said of the play. “We were assuming they knew it but it was
bad to give that up.”
The Coyotes had the last shot but couldn’t capitalize as Denson
turned the ball over without the home team getting a shot off,
returning possession to the Jacks with five seconds to play. Spada
again went for the last shot but his shot was short and off the front
of the rim, sending the game into overtime.
Brown also had 12 rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two
assists. Devin Montgomery added 25, four off his season-high. Denson
collected six assists as the Coyotes shot 45.2 percent from the field.
Kevin Atkins had a team-high 23 for Humboldt, ranked sixth in the
West Region. Tiedman added 18 and Spada 13. The Jacks shpot 44.8
percent from the field buit were a sparkling 23 of 27 from the line.
“They did a great job in the first half and we didn’t match their energy or intensity,” Oliver said.
The Coyotes will play their last home game of the regular season at
7:30 tonight against Sonoma State (11-13, 7-10). They finish with
road games at San Francisco State and Monterey Bay.