By Michael Zavala
What a difference a few weeks makes.
Coming into winter break, the women’s basketball team was in the
hole; now, after winning five of its last seven games, capped by a
two-game sweep at home against conference teams last week, Cal Poly
is brimming with confidence, having finally picked up some
The Broncos (5-5, 2-2) defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills in an
overtime thriller Friday, 72-69. Cal Poly followed up that victory
with a win against Cal State L.A. Saturday, 80-64.
“[Cal Poly] has come together and become a team,” said head
coach Scott Davis. “They want to play for each other, and they
don’t want to lose.”
Cal Poly now has a .500 conference record and is tied for fourth
in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Broncos were down by two in the fourth quarter Friday when
freshman Reyana Colson darted past the Toro defenders and hit the
open layup to tie the score at 65 all and send the game into
Then in the extra period, Cal Poly got a quick four-point lead
when senior Vanessa Dominguez hit a jumper and junior Andrea
Ohlssen got a layup after forcing a turnover.
But as it had done all game, Dominguez Hills clawed its way back
into contention, tying the game, 69-69, after a Bronco turnover off
a shot clock violation.
However, Cal Poly’s will to win was too strong for the Toros to
deny. Dominguez drove to the basket, hit a floater off a spin move
and converted the game-winning 3-point play after drawing a
“I just had a feeling it was going in,” said Dominguez, who led
all scorers with 18 points and also grabbed seven rebounds.
Davis was no less confident about the situation with the ball in
“There was no doubt the ball was going in,” said Davis. “There’s
no one better to have when the game’s on the line. … Vanessa
gives everything she has on every possession.”
After Dominguez converted the 3-point play, Dominguez Hills
raced down the court to get a final shot but couldn’t get one off
before time expired.
Along with Dominguez, Colson and Ohlssen also had good nights
for the Broncos, as each scored 17 points. Ohlssen hit three
3-pointers and Colson had four steals, while also going 7-of-13
overall from the field.
Perhaps the most surprising stat of all is Cal Poly, which has
struggled with ball control and poor decision-making in recent
years, committed only 15 turnovers while forcing the Toros to turn
the ball over 30 times.
“We did a good job of pressuring the ball,” said Davis. “I want
us to be an up-tempo, pressure team.”
Although Davis was a bit concerned about a letdown after a solid
win against a good team, the Broncos didn’t slow down against the
Golden Eagles Saturday.
“If we didn’t win tonight, then we don’t prove anything and the
win against Dominguez Hills was a fluke,” said Davis. “But this win
proves that we’re getting better.”
Cal Poly was dominant early, jumping out to a 10-point lead late
in the first half, 31-21, as Dominguez hit a number of shots.
Cal State L.A. made it a game at the end of the half, though,
disrupting the Broncos’ rhythm and closing the gap to three
Its momentum carried over into the beginning of the second half,
and it appeared as though Cal Poly was in trouble when Cal State
L.A. tied the score at 39-39.
Any hope the Golden Eagles had of a Bronco letdown was shattered
a few minutes later, though, when Ohlssen hit the third of her four
3-pointers to give Cal Poly the 49-41 lead.
Cal State L.A. went on one more run late, coming to within five,
but Cal Poly held off the charge and won going away with excellent
defensive plays such as when Ohlssen ran around two screens and
then blocked a shot with a couple of minutes remaining.
“This game is huge for us,” said Davis. “We finally finished a
game, and we finished it going away.”
Dominguez led four Broncos in double figures with 17 points.
Colson scored 16, junior Sarah McVicar scored 14 and Ohlssen had
“We were all hurting a bit, but we knew we had to step it up and
show people how good we are,” said Dominguez.
Cal Poly returns to the court on the road Friday at No. 22 Chico
State and again Saturday at Cal State Stanislaus.
Junior Larry Gordon moves toward the basket during the men’s basketball team’s win against Cal State L.A. Friday.
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