By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt State men’s basketball team moved into the top-10 in the regional rankings for the first time this week, as the Jacks prepare for a key two-game home stand.
An impressive win at then No. 8 Cal Poly Pomona on New Year’s eve was enough to catapult the Jacks up to No. 10 in this week’s DII West Region poll, sponsored by D2SIDA.
The news comes as the Jacks get ready to host Cal State Los Angeles at Lumberjack Arena on Thursday.
The Golden Eagles are the current No. 8 team in the region, and deadlocked with the Jacks at 5-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings.
The Jacks boast a better overall record at 11-5 (LA is 9-5), but have played some weaker teams along the way.
The Jacks are, however, still unbeaten at home with a record of 7-0, a mark they will put on the line against the Eagles.
“Our guys have worked extremely hard, and they are playing well together, especially on the defensive end,” HSU head coach Steve Kinder said. “All the hard work we have been putting in is starting to pay off for the team and everyone is excited right now.”
In addition to being unbeaten at home, the Jacks are also the highest scoring team in conference with 84.9 points a game.
The Jacks will face another tough task on Saturday on a weekend that could make or break their conference challenge.
Currently, there are five teams with five wins all trailing frontrunners UC San Diego and Cal State East Bay.
The Jacks play two of them this week, including Saturday’s game against third-placed Cal State Dominguez Hills (5-2, 7-5), and a pair of wins would keep them on the tails of the two leaders and give them some separation from some of the challengers.
Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and both will be played as part of doubleheaders with the HSU women’s team.
HSU students will receive free admission with campus ID.
All four games will be broadcast live on local ESPN radio at 1340 AM.