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January 14, 2009 > Pioneers begin Cal-Pac Conference run

Pioneers begin Cal-Pac Conference run

By Tony Cogley

Cal State East Bay men and women basketball got back into conference play this week, taking on both Bethany and Dominican universities of California. Both teams were coming off losses, the men to Division I University of San Francisco, 80-40, and the women losing the second game of their tournament in Whittier, 84-67, to host school Whittier College.

The Lady Pioneers got off to a rolling start, taking on Bethany on Thursday, Jan. 8, at home and were both able to pull victories over the visiting Bruins. The women, who were just 1-3 in conference play, needed an impressive showing in order to stay alive in the standings. Guard Frieda Li led the team in scoring with 21 points, and also helped with defensive stops with five steals in the East Bay win, 77-72.

The men's team found Bethany a little less of a challenge as they cruised to an easy win, 88-63, with five players in double-digit scoring, including guard Jawaan Rubin's 12 points and 11 rebounds. With the win, the Pioneers improved to 4-1 in conference play and were set for a showdown with Dominican University on Saturday, Jan. 10, who sported a 4-0 record, leading the standings in the Cal-Pac.

With a little less than two minutes remaining in the first overtime period, the Dominican Penguins had a one-point lead after a pair of free throws by Xavier Muldrow. Senior forward Finis Jones, who led the Pioneer scoring with 14, hit a late jumper to put East Bay ahead for the win, 59-58.

The women's team was outmatched against Dominican, who was undefeated in the Cal-Pac and would remain so after beating out the Pioneers, 95-80.

The lady Pioneers are now 2-4 in conference and 4-9 overall, and will next take on Pacific Union on Thursday, Jan. 15, at Hayward. The men's team is leading the conference at 5-1, and has improved to 7-5 overall, and will also play host to Pacific Union on January 15.

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