By Christopher Galvan
The Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball team met the Academy of Art’s Urban Knights for their first win of the season, 82-77. On Sunday, the Broncos then took on Simon Fraser, winning 89-80.
Also the first home game, this was the Broncos’ first match-up with the Urban Knights. The Knight’s won last year’s PacWest Championship.
“[The win] feels great,” said senior guard and forward Mian Dingle. “This is the way to get the ball rolling, how we wanted to start and how we want to continue.”
The pace of the game was set from the start, as both teams exploded after the tip-off gave the Broncos possession.
Senior forward Ashley Lovett started CPP off strong with a layup five seconds in.
The Urban Knights fired back quickly less than a minute later, with a three-pointer from Jasmin Guinn that brought them into the game. The match became a quick-action competition throughout the first half, with both teams making it clear that they were there for victory.
“We’ve had some injuries and have been battling through it, which got us off to a rough start initially but now we’ve got the pressure of a little bit,” said head coach Danelle Bishop.
Senior guard Ariel Marsh tied up the score 5-5, three minutes in after defending a rebound and shooting for a successful three-pointer. Marsh led the Broncos in scoring during Wednesday’s game with 25 points overall, shooting five successful 3-pointers and 9-for-16 in the paint, with nine points outside the paint in the first half of the game.
As the Urban Knights demonstrated their ability to move quickly into the key and overcome the Broncos’ defense, the score continued to rise without favoring either team for more than several minutes, with the ball changing hands seven times throughout the first.
Towards the end of the first half, made several shots in succession that kept the Broncos’ 17 points at bay, and allowed the Urban Knights to charge into their strongest lead of the game.
The Broncos needed to reinvigorate their offensive strategy to tackle Academy of Art’s lead.
Senior guard Lauren Goecke started what became a double-double game for her, with four points in the first half and five assists. This took the Broncos within five points of the Urban Knights at the start of the second. The Broncos ended the first half 32-37 after a strong 13-point comeback.
The Bronco blitzkrieg beginning in the second half put Academy of Art’s defense on their toes and gave CPP nine points in the second half. As points came and went for both teams, Marsh shot a successful three-pointer to set the score even, 63-63.
The Broncos fought the Urban Knights for the rest of the second half, until CPP took the lead for the last time 77-75. The Broncos held off through strong offensive plays and pressure from the Urban Knights.
Several minutes from the end of the second half, both teams began a serious battle for the lead as they pushed to draw fouls and keep the other at bay. The majority of the last shots of the game were free throws, padding the lead.
“We are a great team and Academy of Art was really tough too, but what we focus on is getting better and learning from our past games,” said Bishop. “I thought we really did that. I’m proud of my team making so many adjustments and working great together.”
On Sunday, the Broncos traveled to British Columbia to take on Simon Fraser University.
Marsh led the team with 27 points and five assists.
The Broncos finished with three players in double digits: Blackwell finished with 23 and Lovett with 15.
The Broncos have the week off before returning to action Dec. 5, against conference opponent Cal State East Bay.
Matt Brown / Bronco Athletics
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