It’s safe to say Cal State San Bernardino men’s basketball coach Jeff Oliver won’t be exchanging pleasantries with anyone from Humboldt State any time soon.
The coach was still miffed, 24 hours after his team beat the Lumberjacks 82-70 on Friday.
Oliver drew two technical fouls in that game, meaning he had to sit out the next night’s game which happened to be against local rival Cal Poly Pomona in a battle for first between two nationally ranked teams.
Oliver was incensed with what he called “deliberate, dirty play” on the part of the Humboldt State team. He thought his players’ safety was at stake which was why he voiced his objections so loudly to the officials.
“I felt my players were in serious jeopardy with the way they were playing and I couldn’t let it go,” he said. “The first thing they did after the game was thank me for having their backs.”
Oliver said that team is known for such tactics and is still upset it hasn’t been addressed to this point by anyone of higher authority.
“It’s their M.O., the way they operate,” he said. “They were trying to get my guys to retaliate so they’d get kicked out of the game. You could tell it was deliberate because no one on their bench reacted at all.”
“They have done it with other teams and it’s what they did at Pomona last year,” he said referencing a game against the Broncos that featured a brawl in which four players were ejected, two from each team.
The Coyotes lost on Saturday to Cal Poly Pomona 88-68, with assistants Reggie Howard and Robert Tossetti handling the reigns. It was a game they were never in. Although the Broncos played a flawless game, Oliver thought his players sluggish play might have been a bit of the result of the physicality of the game the previous night.
Despite the loss the Coyotes (16-1, 13-1) retain a share of first place with Cal Poly Pomona while Humboldt State (8-12, 3-11) sits 11th out of 12 teams.