Men’s basketball team stays hot over winter break


Senior center Tanner Giddings jumps for the opening tip. Photo credit: Caio Calado

While most students were home for the break, the men’s basketball team was busy defending their home court with five consecutive wins in Acker Gym. The team holds a record of 15-3 overall, and 9-2 in conference.

Over the break, the Wildcats succeeded in winning six of their eight games, and have had the hottest start to the season since the 1940-1941 season.

The team found their stride early in the year, and have continued their momentum with a three game winning streak. The team’s success has elevated them to the top of the CCAA, and earned them recognition as the 19th ranked Division II basketball team according to the latest NCAA NACB coaches poll. The Wildcats’ performance is due to extended practice and dedication according to head coach, Greg Clink.

Head Coach Greg Clink looks on as the Wildcats battle. Photo credit: Caio Calado


“The break allows them to focus on practice and lightens the stress on them,” Clink said.

Although school is around the corner, the team showed no concern over the increased workload and shortened practice time.

“Even though we have more to do we’re all used to it, and we know how to succeed at both,” senior forward Tanner Giddings said.

In the recent game against Cal Poly Pomona on Jan. 9, junior guard and lead scorer Robert Duncan suffered an ankle injury. The injury prevented him from playing in the game against San Francisco State on Jan. 15 and the game against Sonoma State on Jan. 16. During Duncan’s recovery, several players have had to step up and fill the leadership role, including sophomore guard Jalen McFerren.

Sophomore guard Jalen McFerren dribbles around a screen to attack the basket. Photo credit: Caio Calado


“I just tried to support the team with my play and keep up the level of intensity that we’ve been playing at,” McFerren said.

Along with McFerren, sophomore guard Corey Silverstrom has also done his part to support the team, scoring 21 points in a game against Sonoma State. Duncan hopes to make a quick recovery, but has little worry about how his team will fair without him.

“We have a strong bench, and everyone on the team can support one another. I’m not worried about them,” said Duncan.

While Duncan missed two games this season, he was able to play in the team’s last game against Cal State San Marcos, where he contributed 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Even though the team has found great success, the team stressed the importance of reducing the number of turnovers per game, which have averaged out to 14.7 a game for the season.

“It’s the weakest part of our game and it’s something we all need to keep working on,” said Silverstrom.

The Wildcats are back in action on Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. against Cal State Stanislaus, and will attempt to achieve their fifth straight win and sixth consecutive home win.

Kenta McAfee can be reached at [email protected] or @KentaMcAfee on Twitter.