San Francisco State center Ryne Williams shoots a free throw during the best week of his collegiate career. (Courtesy / S.F. State Athletics)

College Roundup: SF State’s Williams earns MBB Player of the Week

At 5-2, the San Francisco State men’s basketball team is off to its best start since 2016-17, when the Gators won their first 11 games en route to a 25-6 campaign.

This past week, senior center Ryne Williams helped SF State to a near-upset of No. 7 Cal Poly Pomona and a resounding win over Chico State, averaging 22.5 points and 9.0 rebounds to earn his second CCAA Player of the Week award.

The seven-footer out of Castaic (Calif.) West Ranch set a career high with 33 points against the Broncos, scoring 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting with three 3-pointers and 12 rebounds on Nov. 29.

He followed that up with a 12-point, six-rebound game against the Wildcats.

The team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Williams is averaging 14.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, shooting 48.1 percent (38-of-79) from the field, including 34.8 percent (16-of-46) from long distance.

He’s also helped the Gators — ranked No. 10 in the D2 West Region’s media poll — to the top field goal defense (35.3 percent) and fifth-best scoring defense (60.1 ppg) in NCAA Division II, with six steals and 0.64 blocks per game.

Williams has also helped the Gators to the the top defense (35.3 percent) and fifth stingiest scoring defense (60.1 ppg) in NCAA Division II with six steals, already just one shy of his career mark, and .64 blocks per game.

The Gators (5-2/2-1 CCAA) face No. 10 UC San Diego on Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m., followed by Cal State San Marcos, on Saturday, December 8 at 3 p.m.

SF State Men’s XC: Senior John Lawson finished 53rd out of 260 competitors at the NCAA National Championships in Pittsburgh on Dec. 1 at the Bob O’Conner Golf Course, battling through 41-degree temperatures and a muddy track.

Lawson advanced 46 spots between the first and second splits, sitting in 98th at the 1.7k split with a time of 5:36.3. He moved up to 69th at 2.8k mark at 8:52.1 — just 12.6 seconds off the leader. At about the halfway point, Lawson had advanced to 56th with a time of 15:58.6. He finished with a time of 33:51.6, besting the course record of 34:01 that was set earlier this month.

Lawson’s finish is the third-best by a Gator at the National Championships in the last 14 seasons, after Bruk Assefa placed 45th in 2012 and Josh Babiak took 38th in 2005.

CCSF Men’s BB: The Rams are off to an 8-0 start this season, having blasted Contra Costa 105-71 on Sunday behind big nights from a pair of Cal transfers. Former Golden Bears Austin McCullough and Deschon Winston combined for 33 points as seven CCSF players scored in double figures.

McCullough, who shot the lights out from three in practice last season as a freshman at Berkeley, but couldn’t translate it to game success, went 5-of-6 from the field, 3-of-4 from three and 5-of-5 at the line. Winston went 7-of-13.

Walter Urbina led CCSF with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting, going 2-of-3 from 3-point land and 6-of-6 at the free throw line.

The Rams traveled to Santa Rosa for a 7 p.m. tilt on Wednesday, but the game went final after our print deadline.

USF Men’s BB: After narrowly losing 85-81 to No. 21 Buffalo in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the 7-1 Dons, ranked No. 27 in the latest NCAA NET rankings, came home to the Bay Area to square off with Cal at Haas Pavilion. That score also came in after press time, but check out our full recap online at sfexaminer.com.

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