The men’s basketball team extended its losing streak to six games after falling to Yuba College (22-2 overall and 12-0 in the Bay Valley Conference) 63-43 Friday night at the Gymnasium.
Despite trailing by only three points at halftime, the size and depth of the Yuba lineup eventually wore on the Comets allowing the 49ers to put the game away in the second half.
“Their size just wore us down over the course of the game. They pound the ball inside and got guys in foul trouble,” Comet assistant coach Jason Maples said. “Six-foot-9-inches, 6-foot-10-inches, 6-foot-9 coming off of the bench — things you don’t usually see at this level.”
The Comets get another chance to break their losing streak Friday against the College of Marin in Kentfield.
The Comets (7-17 overall, 5-8 in the BVC) kept pace with the first place 49ers from the tip. Freshman guard Demar Dunn knotted the game at two after drawing a foul on a spinning layup into the lane and netting both free throws.
Although the Comets scored both foul shots, the tone was set by the 49ers that driving for points in the paint would be no easy task.
For CCC to be successful against Yuba, some outside shots would have to be made to soften the interior defense.
The Comets only shot 4-23 from the 3-point line in the contest.
Despite holding a 12-7 lead midway through first half, small mistakes like missing a block out assignment to allow an easy score, would be the easy buckets the 49ers took advantage of to claw back into the lead.
“We’re a young team. We just didn’t play hard for the whole 40 minutes,” sophomore guard Jalen Walton said. “We’re still fighting. Our coaches haven’t given up on us, so we aren’t either.”
For CCC, the loss is the third in a row at home after winning its previous four at home before that.
Holding on to a 12-9 lead, CCC continued to fight back Yuba attempts to assert its presence inside. The 49ers finally pulled ahead with under 10 minutes to play in the first half on a simple jump hook in the paint by one of Yuba’s many towering frontcourt players.
A Comet turnover followed by another Yuba 3-pointer gave the visiting team the momentum it needed to take control of the half.
At halftime, Yuba led the Comets 26-23.
Out of the break, a missed floater by the Comets translated quickly into a 49er layup followed by another foul in the paint.
The momentum stayed with Yuba for the rest of the game.
“We go into every game with the intention of playing hard, but some things just don’t fall into place,” freshman guard Kolman Kelly said.
“Playing at this level the speed is a little quicker and the players are a little stronger. I had to get used to that.”
The freshman-heavy squad has just three conference games left on its schedule.
“You (freshman players) have to show this coaching staff something in these next few games,” Maples said.
“The last team that finished like this had only three players return the following year,” he said.