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February 4, 2009 > Pioneer homecoming an evening of lopsided victories

Pioneer homecoming an evening of lopsided victories

By Tony Cogley
Photos By submitted by Alex Warschauer

With only six games remaining in the season, Coach Will Biggs has the Cal State East Bay men's basketball team on an eight game win streak, undefeated at home and in sole possession of first place in the California Pacific (Cal-Pac) Conference.
So when you see him courtside, barking out commands to his players and disputing calls with refs, even when his team is up by 30 points during their homecoming smashing of Simpson University on January 29, 94-57, you may wonder, "What's this guy so fired up about?"

Truth is, the Pioneers are only one game over William Jessup, who are also on a seven game winning streak themselves, and if they can hang on to close out on top, it would be just the second time Biggs was able to finish in first place since taking over the team in 1997.

Against Simpson, East Bay put on another sound fundamental clinic, as is becoming their trademark in the Cal-Pac, complete with the team's leading scorer, Tauran Moore, putting up another 18 points. At one point, the Pioneers padded their lead to 42, allowing Biggs to use his bench, and players like junior guard, Jawaan Rubin, to push hard and finish 8 for 10 with 17 points.

Their second game of homecoming week, against Menlo on January 31, saw Moore put up 21 more points, along with Jun Uchida'a 15 to help lead the Pioneers to yet another victory, 65-53.

The women, on the other hand, have plenty to be concerned with, as they are currently in eighth place with a 4-7 conference record, just ahead of winless Pacific Union College, though it may not have been noticeable in their 43-point homecoming massacre over Simpson, 104-61.

The ladies had six players in double figures, including Ashley Jacobs' 17, and Kristina Lin's 16. The Pioneers were being out-rebounded by Simpson in the first half, 22-17, giving the Redhawks second-chance scoring opportunities, and went into the second half trailing by just four points.

The second half saw Cal State come out fast and aggressive, forcing Simpson to push their shots and finish shooting just 36 percent. With just over 10 minutes left to play, the Pioneers took a 30-point lead and never looked back.

Despite this boost for team morale, the Lady Pioneers would regress and lose their next game against Menlo, 86-76, in which their shooting dropped to a dismal 38 percent.

East Bay will next take on William Jessup on the road, Thursday Feb. 5, a potential first place showdown for the men, and an opportunity for the women to crawl out of the cellar.

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