The Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball team had a chance to set the tone when it took the floor against Brigham Young-Hawaii in its season opener at Coussoulis Arena.
BYU is a traditional regional contender. Its conference is the worst of the three that make up the West Region and the Seasiders don’t play a particularly strong schedule. They win when they stay on the island and struggle when they leave it.
So the game was important for the Coyotes. Beating in-region teams means a lot when rankings are tabulated at the end of the year and a site for the regional is determined. So the Coyotes missed a golden opportunity in losing 87-83 in overtime.
BYU didn’t play particularly well. But the Coyotes played worse. They were out of sync from the opening tipoff and never got their act together. They were lucky to be close, really.
The Coyotes shot 38.7 percent but were just 8 for 28 from long distance. They had 22 turnovers and were out rebounded by 10.
There were missed free throws, including an air ball with 47 seconds left in regulation in a 1-point game. There were turnovers – lots of them. And there were the wrong people taking the wrong shots at the wrong time.
Is there potential? Definitely? But the Coyotes can’t afford to get off to a bad start because the conference is loaded. And the bad news is that the Coyotes first CCAA game is against Cal State Dominguez, which just so happened to beat BYU by 27 on Monday.
Even more reason the Coyotes should have won. BYU was on the second night of a back-to-back. So that does not bode well.
David Jefferson scored 17 points and collected eight rebounds to lead Cal State. Aaron Hill and Corey Caston had 15 each but were a combined 6 for 20 from the field. Caston did have eight assists though.