Basketball

What a difference a year makes for HSU men’s basketball

The Humboldt State men’s basketball team is quietly piecing together a pretty impressive campaign, running out to a fourth straight win on Monday night.

Through their opening 12 games, the Jacks are 8-4 and have been far more competitive than a year ago when they struggled to a 9-19 record.

A win at home to Bethesda on Wednesday night will match the team’s win total from a year ago before the Christmas break.

The improvements from last season are evident everywhere.

Offensively, the Jacks are averaging almost 12 points more a game (84.2 to 72.5), while defensively they’re giving up 4.6 points a game less (71.1).

They’ve gone from an average game differential of -3.2 to +13.1, an impressive turnaround by any standards.

They’ve also been rebounding the ball far more effectively, averaging 6.7 more a game (44.2) while giving up 4.5 less (32.1), for a margin of plus 12.1 this season.

On Monday, the Jacks defeated New Hope Christian College 89-66 in a non-conference showdown at Lumberjack Arena.

The Jacks led by seven at halftime, and pulled away in the second half, outscoring the visitors 47-31 for the period to seal the comfortable win.

A struggling New Hope Christian team dropped to 2-19.

Senior Justin Everett led the Jacks with 27 points, the only HSU player to score in double digits, with 10 different players among the scorers.

LJ Williams added nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Jacks also defeated rival Chico State in dramatic circumstances on Saturday, with Amari Green’s winning basket coming in the final two seconds.

Saturday’s win was particularly sweet for the Jacks after getting swept by their rivals a year ago.

It also improved them to 4-2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings, alone in fourth and just one win behind frontrunners UC San Diego (5-0) and Cal State East Bay (5-1).

This Wednesday’s game with the Flames (1-11) is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The HSU women will not be in action.

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