Men’s basketball loses to Cuesta

The Brahma defense had no answer for the Cuesta College Cougars’ 3-point shot in a loss.

After losing in overtime to the Cougars last month 75-70, Pierce was unable to be competitive their second time around in a 80-65 defeat at home on Wednesday night.

“I think it was just one of those days where nobody really wanted to play,” said Niko Macke, who had a team-high 18 points. “There was no fans no hype around it, there was just no energy or defense.”

The Cougars offense got off to a fast start after missing their first four shot attempts to eventually go on to lead by as many as 21 points in the first-half. Kerem Ozel lead the way early for the Cougars, scoring 17 of his 25 points in the first half.

A 48-32 deficit at halftime was too big of a hole for the Brahmas to climb out of.

“You can’t win a game giving up 48 points in a half and you’re not scoring,” interim head coach Charles White said. “That was the biggest factor.”

The Cougars were able to consistently hit from 3 point range, making 7 of their 13 threes in the first half.

“We move the ball. We want as many people to touch the ball as possible and that’s what how we had success over the years,” Cuesta head coach Rusty Blair said.

In the second half the Brahmas would go on a late run, cutting the deficit to just 8 points 66-58 behind an 11 point second half scoring effort from Macke, but after two missed free throws by Pierce guard Kaelan Hicks that would’ve brought the deficit down to 6, the Cougars put their foot on the gas scoring five unanswered to prevent any type of comeback.

The Brahmas leading scorer on the season, Montel Shirley, had 16 points on 7-12 shooting. The Brahmas shot 45.6% from the field (26-57) and 7-18 from the 3 point (7-18).

“We weren’t committed enough and disciplined enough tonight,” White said. “We had two days of good practice, it was a surprise that we didn’t come in today ready to play.”

With the loss the Brahmas now hold a record of 9-14, while Cuesta improves to 20-7. This loss also continues the home drought for Pierce at 1-4.

The Brahmas will face Ventura College (15-9) on the road Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7:00 p.m.