Ally Bates and Alicia Jones honored with All-CCAA awards

By James Oliden, April 25, 2023

The California Collegiate Athletic Association selected Ally Bates and Alicia Jones to the All-CCAA Women’s Basketball Team on Feb. 28. 

Bates was selected to the All-CCAA first team for the second straight season, while Jones earned her first All-CCAA second team selection for the Broncos.

Bates averaged 13.1 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game, leaving her just outside the top 10 in the conference in scoring. She also led the Broncos in scoring, making a total of 64 3s on the season on 35% shooting.

Courtesy of CPP Athletics

Jones was second on the Broncos in scoring with 12.3 points per game, ranked 13th in the conference. Jones also added 4.7 boards as she started every game for the Broncos.

Bates’ and Jones’ performances earned the team a postseason trip at an 18-11 overall record.

The Broncos’ season ended at the hands of the top-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills during the 2023 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

Head coach Danelle Bishop discussed her first impression of Jones.

“I’ve believed in Alicia since I saw her and watched her play at Delta Junior College, and I just really liked her game,” said Bishop.

Bishop credited Jones for stepping up in big moments when the team needed it most. 

In the Broncos’ season-ending loss to the Toros, Jones carried the ball handling for the Broncos, dealing with constant pressure while they sidelined sophomore guard Kalaya Buggs throughout the game.

In Jones’ first year with the team, she wanted to make a good impression as a Bronco.

“Throughout the season I have learned so much,” said Jones. “Coming into this program, it was a little nerve-racking because I would be playing against girls who are a lot bigger and stronger than me. I think when I first came, I weighed about 110. But with the help from my coaches, teammates and weightlifting coach, everything slowly started to come together. I learned to use my size to my advantage and just kept building off of that, and now I weigh about 130 so it’s really crazy.”

After averaging 1.5 steals per game in her freshman year, Jones said she hopes to earn the Defensive Player of the Year award. She also said she strives to make the All-CCAA first team during her second season as a Bronco.

Bishop talked about the process of seeing a player like Bates grow before her eyes.

“Honestly, with Ally, I don’t know if there’s just one moment,” said Bishop. “I think for me it was really great to just see the overall growth in Ally from last year to this year, just as a leader and her will to win and to get her teammates motivated.”

On top of her stellar stats, Bates also possesses strong leadership skills, which coach Bishop credits to Bates’ effort on the court.

Bates discussed the importance of being there for her teammates and building chemistry with the team.

“Yeah, obviously having chemistry with each other is super important,” said Bates. “I just try to keep in contact with my team on and off the court and throughout the season. We’ve really built a strong bond.” 

Bates’ efforts translated to on-court successes in her two seasons as a Bronco. In that time, she averaged 12.7 points per game and 2.3 assists per game.

“It’s going to be a little sad not playing for the team anymore, but I have enjoyed my time here,” said Bates.

Bates ended her tenure tied for fifth-most 3-pointers made in a career with 114 and tied for sixth in program history in 3s made over a single season with 64. 

Bishop discussed the impact that Bates had on the program. 

“I’m just grateful for what she’s brought to our program and beyond that,” said Bishop. “She’s a phenomenal student and just a good person. We’re definitely happy to have her at Cal Poly.”

Jones’ confidence and potential for growth are among the traits that Bishop loves about the player.

“With Alicia, I just honestly think game by game as she just continued to build her confidence and her teammates to continue to build confidence in her,” said Bishop. “You know, anybody that knows sports, I mean, that’s half the battle is just being confident.”

Jones is excited about coming back next year better than ever. 

“Because there are so many possibilities, it’s impossible to stay satisfied with what I’ve accomplished so far because I know I could do so much better,” said Jones. “I’m super excited to get to work this off season and improve in my game and come back next year better than I was this year.” 

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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