By Andrew Gordo
The Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball team finished off the last two games on a four-game road trip this weekend, sweeping their opposition.
On Friday, the Broncos decisively beat the Sonoma State Seawolves 84-59, and clinched a spot in the upcoming conference tournament.
On Saturday, in a much closer game, the Broncos rallied back from a halftime deficit to top the San Francisco State Gators 74-67.
CPP controlled the tempo in Friday’s game against the Seawolves. Early on in the game, it seemed like an evenly matched competition. The Broncos started to pour baskets and get into a rhythm defensively.
The Broncos worked together to build an 18-point lead with 5:37 left in the first half.
Unfortunately, the team did not close out the first half the way it would’ve liked. The Broncos became a little too complacent, and the Seawolves were able to trim the Bronco lead to just nine at the half, 40-31.
“We’ve been trying to make it more of a mentality instead of just something that you have to do,” said head coach Danelle Bishop on her team’s defensive mindset.
When the second half began, it seemed that the Seawolves were going to pick up right where they left off, as they were able to come to within four. However, that was the closest that they were able to get for the rest of the game. CPP was able to lockdown the Seawolves’ offense.
The CPP defense came up big in this win. The Broncos allowed the Seawolves to convert only 37 percent of their field goal attempts. CPP forced 21 turnovers, and held Sonoma State below 60 points.
Bishop touched on the stretch of tough defense that her team has put together.
“[We’re] trying to keep them focused on letting our defense create our offense,” said Bishop. So I just think instead of sitting there focused, they have really been digging deep.”
Offensively, CPP was also able to make a statement. Four Broncos were in double figures for scoring.
Senior guard Ariel Marsh led the assault with 30 points, while senior forwards Ashley Lovett and Jada Blackwell followed with 17 and 12, each adding 8 rebounds as well. Junior guard Tyler Woods rounded out the scoring with 10 points.
“I think it was a great team effort,” said Marsh. “Our post players were doing great; Ashley Lovett had a great game. Tyler did a great job. It was just a full-on team effort. Everyone was playing hard and being a threat, so it got me open and I just hit the shots that I got when I was open.”
Saturday’s meeting against the Gators was a much different game of the Broncos playing catch up.
The first half wasn’t the best half of basketball the Broncos have ever played. They shot a worthy 45 percent from the field, but also had 10 first half turnovers. The Seawolves out-rebounded and virtually outplayed the Broncos in every facet of the game. At the half the Broncos, found themselves down 40-29.
Still, the Broncos remained resilient and slowly chipped away at the Gators’ lead. At the 12:25 mark, the Broncos finally took a 49-48 lead off a free-throw by Lovett.
From that point on, CPP’s defense shored up the holes on both sides of the ball and secured the 74-67 comeback victory.
“We want to be a defensive team and we want to make it tough on the other team’s offense, and force them to do things they don’t want to do,” said Marsh. “We’re going to continue to improve on that moving into the playoffs.”
With the results from this weekend’s games, the Broncos now improve their overall record to 17-5 and their California Collegiate Athletic Conference record to 15-3.
The Broncos will return to action this week as they begin their final home stand of the season. On Friday they will face-off against the Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles as they celebrate Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night. on Saturday, CPP will host its Homecoming Game in a matchup against the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros.
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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