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College basketball | Local teams struggle on the road

All four local college basketball teams suffered losses on Thursday, with Cal Poly Humboldt traveling to San Bernardino where both the men’s and women’s teams fell by single digits. College of the Redwoods also dropped both games to College of the Siskiyous.

College of the Redwoods

The loss is especially damaging to the men’s Corsairs hopes of a fourth straight Golden Valley Conference championship. CR went into Thursday one game below Siskiyous in the standings with a chance to draw even and own the head-to-head tiebreaker, but the Corsairs fell 68-62 while never holding a lead in the game.

“My heart breaks for the guys but this result was more than fair. We simply did not play good enough basketball, particularly offensively, to win a big road game in a hostile environment,” Corsairs men’s coach Ryan Bisio said.

The loss drops CR to 2-7 on the road this season and two full games below Siskiyous with only three conference games remaining, meaning the 6-1 Siskiyous team would have to lose at least two of those games for a chance at a fourth straight GVC title for Bisio’s squad.

The slate for the Corsairs doesn’t ease up either, with another game on the road on Saturday against Butte College, a team that forced overtime against CR in Eureka earlier this season before the Corsairs got a 83-80 win.

“We have one more opportunity this season to figure out how to be ourselves on the road. If we knew what the problem was we would have fixed it by now,” Bisio said. “I really feel for our guys because they just can’t seem to break through the shrink wrap.”

Sophomore Jett Cheong led the Corsairs with 15 points, with the sophomore Neff twins combining for 23. Now at 4-3 in the conference, CR will need a miraculous run, along with some help around the GVC, to continue their streak of conference titles.

The men’s game wasn’t the only disappointing loss for College of the Redwoods. The women’s team fell 72-53. The loss brings College of the Siskiyous within a half-game of CR in the conference standings, with the Corsairs still trailing the 25-1 Butte squad by 2.5 games.

“This was a tough loss,” Corsairs’ women’s head coach Jain Tuey said. “I think taking a week and a half off really hurt our rhythm we were getting in. We came out very flat and couldn’t get anything going.”

Thursday was the first game for College of the Redwoods since a win on Jan. 27. CR was outscored 23-10 in the first quarter on Thursday and could never work their way back into the game. Freshman Ellie Pesch led the team with 13 points and was the only Corsair in double-figures.

“It felt like we struggled to get all five players on the court connecting and all playing hard together,” Tuey said.

Like the men’s team, the Corsairs will now go on the road against Butte where a CR loss would eliminate the Corsairs from GVC title contention.

Cal Poly Humboldt

A 55-47 loss for Cal Poly Humboldt women’s team against San Bernardino brings them to 8-8 in the CCAA, joining a five-way tie for fourth place in the standings, where the top six teams advance to a conference tournament, making each game paramount.

It was a tough night for the ‘Jacks offense, shooting 30% from the field with as many turnovers (19) as made baskets. Humboldt’s defense kept them in the game, as it had all season but the offense managed just 21 second-half points.

The ‘Jacks are now 1-9 on the road while going 8-1 at home, a stark contrast for the team. The starting backcourt of juniors Kenya Edelhart and Emilia Long combined for 25 points but it took 32 field goal attempts to reach it in Humboldt’s lowest-scoring game since Jan. 4 in a loss against Cal State East Bay.

The ‘Jacks men’s team nearly pulled off a huge upset after stymying the San Bernardino offense in the first half, the Coyotes scored 40 points in the second half to secure the 61-56 win.

Senior guard Kareem Clark scored a team-high 20 points to lead the ‘Jacks, in what was largely a defensive matchup with neither team shooting above 38% from the field. Humboldt led by four with 4:37 left in the game, from that point on San Bernardino missed one shot the rest of the way, finishing the game on a 14-5 run to snatch the victory.

The ‘Jacks will face Cal Poly Pomona on the road on Saturday, for their second of four straight road conference games. Saturday’s action opens up at 5:30 p.m. for the women’s game, with the men’s team following at 7:30.

Dylan McNeill can be reached at 707-441-0526.