Carried off the court, he would return in the second half to finish with a game-high 21 points in a 79-70 non-conference loss to the Idaho State Bengals Saturday night, dropping the Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team to a 1-6 record overall.
Pape Sow clearly hobbled by his injury, favored his foot as he ran up and down the court, mirroring a limping Titan team who is holding on to a season that is slowly slipping away.
“It’s disturbing,” head coach Donny Daniels said. “You’re probably looking at a team as low as it can be, and a head coach at the lowest he can be.”
“But tomorrow at 6:55 in the morning the sun will come up, and nobody will give a (expletive) that the Titans lost.”
The tomorrow-is-another-day attitude hasn’t worked for the Titans so far. They are on a four-game losing streak and desperately seeking a win.
But Daniels, who nearly was at a loss for words after the game, stressed that improvement on defense would have to be the Titans main concern.
The Bengals distributed the ball well as four different players finished the night in double-figures, with point guard Marquis Poole leading the charge with 20 points and five assists.
“We have to work on our defense,” said Daniels, who’s team allowed the Bengals to shoot 61 percent from the floor in the second half.
Guard Ralphy Holmes finished behind Sow in scoring with 14 points and eight rebounds but did not start because he was late for practice, Daniels said.
Forward Bron Groomes, a key reserve off the bench for the Titans, sprained his ankle with six minutes left in the second half as he battled the Bengals Danny Boticki for a rebound, as both of their feet got tangled in mid-air not allowing Groomes to land properly.
Sow also rolled his ankle on a rebound but it happened as he landed on his own with out a defender near him.
“Anytime you see someone go down without anyone touching them,” Daniels said, “you go ‘Oh’…and that’s alarming.”
Both Groomes and Sow are day-to-day, Daniels said.
Even with Sow’s gutsy performance, the Titans couldn’t put together a consistent run after ending the first half tied at 33. Fullerton struggled offensively, committing 13 turnovers, 10 of them coming in the second half.
Where does this team go from here?
“We have to go back to fundamentals,” Daniels said, “like starting all over.”