Women’s basketball was not able to defeat No.1 ranked UC San Diego Saturday evening for the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship Tournament title. The loss snuffed the Broncos’ six-game winning streak and pushed their overall record to 25-5.
“We played hard; I think we got a lot better since last time we played them; we were very disciplined in our defense,” head coach Danelle Bishop said. “Our team is jelling, we faced a lot of adversity, but we were able to keep fighting until the end. I’m really proud of my team.”
Despite the loss, the Broncos had five players with double figures in scoring. Junior forward Rebecca Islas led the pack with 13 points along with five rebounds.
“When I know we need a big shot, I have the confidence to knock down the shot,” Islas said. “I played pretty decent even thought I was in foul trouble for a while, but overall I think we battled as a team tonight.”
In the first quarter, the Tritons quickly got on the scoreboard with back-to-back 3-pointers that put them up 6-0. Later in the quarter, the Broncos finally started to knock down shots and were able to put together a 7-0 run that gave them the lead 18-17 going into the second quarter.
Starting the quarter, the Tritons wanted the lead back and quickly obtained it with two free-throws made and a layup. The Broncos answered right away with back-to-back baskets from senior guard Jordyn Shane.
“I took the mistakes from last game and improved upon [them]. I have to keep my emotions in check,” Shane said. “For me today it was kind of in my head, showed poor leadership, have to be a better leader for my team.”
Despite the exchanging of shots back and forth, both teams’ defense were outstanding and led them to only scoring 22 points combined.
To start the second half, the Broncos attempted to take the lead with a layup from junior forward Monica Todd but they fell short as the Tritons went on a 7-0 run that extended their lead to eight.
The Broncos didn’t answer until midway through the quarter, thanks to a long 3-pointer from Islas. Moments later, the Tritons continued with the hot hand and knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers that extended their lead by 12 points.
Later in the quarter, the Broncos kept fighting and junior forward Kasey Smit went down low in the paint and put up two huge baskets for the Broncos that took the game into the fourth, down 52-42.
Right off the bat in the fourth quarter, both teams started knocking down shots. As the minutes went by, the Broncos continued shooting the ball extremely well and a huge 3-pointer from junior guard Dominique Dotson brought them within five points of the Tritons.
Midway through the quarter, the Tritons responded and a couple of back-to-back layups helped them go up by 10. As the clock wound down, the Broncos got into foul trouble and the Tritons took advantage of the free-throws that eventually helped them seal the win, 72-60.
Prior to Saturday’s championship game, the Broncos defeated Sonoma State at home and Cal State East Bay on the road.
The Broncos’ defense proved to be too much Tuesday night at Kellogg Arena as they defeated Sonoma State, 66-59. Their defensive efforts in the first half were crucial to pull the win as they only allowed 19 points in that span. Todd led the Broncos, chipping in with 15 points, along with nine rebounds and eight steals.
After the huge win at home, the Broncos traveled to Hayward, where they defeated Cal State East Bay, 88-71, Friday night in the semifinal of the tournament. Shane was phenomenal in the win, contributing with 29 points. The Broncos in the first half had the hot hand as they shot 55.17 percent from the field.
The Broncos will now play Azusa Pacific on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division II Tournament at UC San Diego.
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