Cal State Dominguez Hills takes a road trip to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State Bakersfield needing victories to stay in the running for the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. basketball title.
The Toros, 14-6 overall, lost to conference leader UC Riverside over the weekend and missed a chance to pull into a tie for first place. Instead, they dropped to third at 4-3. The Toros play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bakersfield and at 8:05 Saturday at San Luis Obispo.
Cal Poly is 12-8 overall and tied with the Toros in the CCAA. Bakersfield is 14-6 and 3-4 but has turned itself around after a 0-3 league start.
The Toros are led by forward William Alexander, now the CCAA's career scoring leader. Alexander is averaging 27 points in his last four games, 21.6 overall and 23.9 in the CCAA. He is shooting 58% in conference games. Alexander will be honored at the next Toros home game, Feb. 13.
Sophomore forward Tony Akins is averaging 11.9 points and sophomore guard Vico Nomaaea is chipping in 10.5. Sophomore center Tony Blackmon is the top rebounder with an 8.6 average. Senior guard John Nojima is averaging 8.6 points and 5.4 assists and leads the team with 51 three-point shots.
Bakersfield, a 75-65 loser at Dominguez Hills in January, features five players in double figures led by 6-9 center Paul Phifer's 13.7 average. The Roadrunners are 9-2 at home. Cal Poly is led by 6-3 forward Sean Chambers, averaging 17.6 points, and forward Melvin Parker, who brings a 15-point average off the bench. The Mustangs won the first meeting, 63-59, in double overtime, holding Alexander to a season-low eight points.
Rolling Hills received all first-place votes to remain the top-rated 3-A team in this week's CIF basketball coaches poll. The Titans' neighbor, Palos Verdes, rose from fourth to third. The only other ranked boys South Bay team is Chadwick in 1-A, up from fifth to fourth. In the girls ratings, Morningside remains at No. 3 in 4-A.