Broncos win home game opener, 81-71

The women’s basketball team defended its home-game opener in a win against the Point Loma Sea Lions Nov. 8 in the Kellogg Arena.

The Broncos controlled most of the game as their defense expedited them to an 81-71 victory over Point Loma. 

The Broncos held the Sea Lions to only 20 points, while they combined for 44 points in the first half.

Broncos’ head coach Danelle Bishop said the team both focused on communicating and locking in on defense, which can help win over top teams in their conference.

“When this team really wants to play defense and they focus on that, we’re really good,” Bishop said. “You saw how our transition offense off of those steals was clutch.”

Kasey Smit, right, made a total of 14 points and eight rebounds in Friday’s game against Point Loma Sea Lions.
Carlos Olivares | The Poly Post

Unfortunately for the Broncos, senior forward Monica Todd had to exit the game late in the third quarter due to an apparent knee injury. 

Todd was a factor on defense with a total of three steals and six rebounds, all in three quarters.

Bishop hopes Todd’s injury is not severe and that her vital efforts will return for their upcoming games after a week’s rest.

“She’s key to our team. She was getting steals. She had six rebounds, she was just all over the place,” Bishop said. “She played great, so we’re going to pray for her and pray that hopefully it’s something like a fluke thing and she’ll be out — I’m sure tomorrow — and hopefully get some rest next week.”

On the offensive end, star players senior forward Kasey Smit and senior point guard Jackie Ricketson combined for 32 points and 13 rebounds to give the Broncos a comfortable lead through the end of the third quarter. Ricketson, who dished out a team-high of six assists, thinks the team did well on both ends of the floor and stayed composed through a tough second half.

“I think we really came out hot in the first half and I think it really stemmed from our good defense,” Ricketson said. “The second half, since our defense was a little bit slower and they were coming at us a lot harder, it slowed us down a little, but we came back and held them from coming back all the way up.”

Point Loma was able to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter off 3-point opportunities from finishing contact layups and fast-break points. This led to 28 points to end the quarter. 

Smit said coach Bishop called a timeout in between the run by the Sea Lions to refocus the team and finish the game out strong.

“She was in our ear making sure that we’re focused and that we finish the game even if we were up by a lot,” Smit said. “She was always saying ‘Hey, pretend we’re still down by 10’ and to always keep going and get after it.”

On Saturday, the Broncos headed to Felix Event Center to take on the Azusa Pacific Cougars.

The Cougars entered the game after a blowout win against Cal State San Bernardino with a final score of 75-47.

“(On Friday), we crashed the boards super hard. We moved a lot better on offense and we’re going to have to do that (against APU),” Bishop said. “I know our players will be up for the challenge.”

Despite the Broncos’ strong efforts, they could not get past the Cougars, falling 45-63.

This week, the Broncos will return home to take on Cal State San Bernardino at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The team will then hit the road as it takes on Cal State Monterey Bay at 1 p.m. Saturday in Seaside.

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