By David Wilson
The women’s basketball playoff run ended in the California Collegiate Athletic Association semifinal after a 75-63 loss to Cal State East Bay Friday afternoon.
With the game close for three quarters, East Bay pulled away in the fourth quarter thanks to an 11-4 run in the first half of the quarter and outscoring the Broncos 22-12 to finish the game.
Early on, Cal Poly Pomona’s junior forwards Chelsea Waddy-Blow and Priscilla Brooks scored nine of the Broncos’ first 11 points of the game.
CPP outscored the Pioneers 19-12, which included an 8-0 run by the Broncos in the span of two minutes of action.
The run was started by Brooks who completed a three-point play after laying the ball in while being fouled.
CPP stretched its lead to 25-15 three minutes into the second quarter after a pull up jumper from sophomore guard Jordyn Shane.
“We were getting the ball inside- they definitely couldn’t guard us inside,” said Brooks.
CPP ran into foul trouble during the second quarter. Brooks and Waddy-Blow each picked up their second personal fouls within the first three minutes, forcing them to sit out the rest of the quarter.
“You’re on the bench and there’s literally nothing you can do about it, because you can’t go in just in case you do get another foul,” said Brooks.
The Pioneers took advantage, going on an 11-1 run and tying the game at 26 with 3:43 left in the half.
The last six points of the run came from the free throw line where East Bay went nine of nine in the second quarter.
“We got a couple girls in foul trouble and they hit some big shots,” said head coach Danelle Bishop.
The teams traded scores in the final three minutes of the second quarter that ended with sophomore guard Jackie Ricketson scoring the Broncos’ final five points of the half including a three-pointer at the buzzer that left the score 36-35 for the Pioneers.
Junior forward Jordan Kimbrough scored half of CPP’s second quarter points in relief for Brooks and Waddy-Blow.
Kimbrough finished with 12 points, six rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes of play off the bench.
“That’s big for us to be able to have two of our posts in foul trouble and have another big come in and basically do a great job,” said Bishop.
CPP opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run in the first three minutes of the quarter, extending its lead to five.
East Bay battled back with an 8-3 run of their own to tie the game at 46 with 4:27 left in the third.
Waddy-Blow picked up her third and fourth fouls in the last two minutes of the quarter, forcing Bishop to sub her out.
Brooks and Waddy-Blow still made an impact with Brooks leading the way with 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Waddy-Blow wasn’t far behind with 12 points and eight rebounds.
“Almost every time they had the ball inside they were getting double-teamed,” said Bishop. “I thought they did a great job of just keeping their composure.”
The Pioneers finished the quarter with a 5-1 run, taking a 53-51 lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
East Bay pulled away in the fourth, shooting nine of 12 from the free throw line to close out the game.
“I don’t think anything killed us in the second half,” said Brooks. “I think what really killed us was the first half having our two bigs being such big factors for our team having to sit out the first half.”
Both teams shot around 40 percent from the field, but the Pioneers hit eight three-pointers and got the free throw line 31 times, compared to the Broncos’ 17, and converted on 25 foul shots.
In round one, CPP overcame a four-point halftime to beat Cal State San Bernardino 54-49 thanks to an eight-point fourth quarter performance from Waddy-Blow that sealed the victory.
CPP trailed at the end of both the first and second quarters due to San Bernardino going on 8-0 runs in both quarters.
The Coyotes’ lead was cut to two at the end of the third quarter and a three-pointer from freshman guard Dominique Dotson gave CPP the lead 30 seconds into the fourth, which they never relinquished.
Dotson finished with 15 points, four rebounds and two steals.
It was Waddy-Blow who led all Broncos with 17 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a block.
The key to the Broncos’ victory was out-rebounding San Bernardino 49-35.
Junior forward Alyssa Benton made an impact despite not scoring any points by grabbing a team high 12 rebounds.
“That was our whole focus,” said Bishop. “Every time we play them, that’s a strength of theirs, so for us to out-rebound them like that is pretty awesome.”
The Broncos finished the season with an overall record of 17-11 and 14-6 in CCAA play.
“This group of young women did some pretty awesome things this year on the court but off the court did even better, and that’s the part that keeps me in coaching and that keeps me excited to come into work every day,” said Bishop. “We’re discouraged right now just with the loss, but we are excited about what’s to come.”
Women’s basketball will return 10 players from this year’s team.
“We have a lot of strong players coming back so I think we’ll be even better next year,” said Kimbrough.
The Broncos will need to rank eigth in order to advance in the season.
The rankings will be out early this week.
Christian Manoukian / The Poly Post
Freshman guard Dominique Dotson scored 15 points against Cal State San Bernardino.
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