The De Anza College men’s basketball team came within a few points of winning as it faced the Skyline College Trojans (8-2) on Dec. 20, 2013. The Dons (5-7) lost the game 71-66.
Sophomore wing Shaquille Gilbert tipped the ball to his teammates to start the game and received the ball back to score the first bucket for the Dons. At 18:19 on the clock, each team had two points on the board.
As the Dons tried to keep the score level, the Trojans pulled to an early lead. Three minutes into the game, the visiting team led 8-2.
Cutting the lead to 22-13, sophomore forward, Jack Pasquini put three points up for the Dons, with teammate Kenny Robinson rebounding the ball after his free throw attempts.
Robinson followed with a bucket of his own and drew a foul, making the score 22-20 with 6:55 left in the first quarter.
Skyline retaliated with four points, followed by a bucket and free throw from point gaurd Nate Viera, and then two more points from the Trojans.
Trying to retain the lead, the Trojans met the Dons point for point. The game went into halftime with freshman guard DJ Rodriguez scoring the last bucket, leaving the Dons trailing the Trojans 39-34.
Coming back after halftime, the Dons started out strong. Sophomore forward, DeVontae Bryant scored five straight points, followed by two free throws from freshman guard Kyle Conner.
The Dons gained their first lead of the night 54-53 on a bucket assisted by Robinson.
Skyline came back with a three point shot only to have Pasquini make a bucket and draw a foul, giving the lead back to the Dons 57-56. Robinson scored the next four points and put the Dons ahead 62-58.
But luck ran out for the Dons as Skyline came back full force and snatched the lead from the Dons. With 2:03 left on the clock, Skyline was back in front 65-62.
The Dons tried to come back, but their efforts fell short. Viera made a bucket and both free throws, leaving the Dons trailing 65-64 but Skyline came back even harder.
Rodriguez scored the last bucket for the Dons, but Skyline ended the game with two free throws and the Trojans won 71-66.
Head coach Jason Damjanovic described the way the game ended as “disappointing.”
“It was more of what we did not do as opposed to what they did,” he said. “[There was] a lack of defensive presence and our shot attempts were difficult based on our lack of execution on the offensive end.”
Robinson ended the night leading on the tally sheet with 15 points, with Viera and Rodriguez putting up 10 points each. Conner and Gilbert had eight points apiece and leading rebounder Pasquini contributed six points.
The Dons open the conference playing at home against their rival team, the West Valley College Vikings on Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.