Women’s basketball comes up short in first CCAA game of the season

By Dylan Long, Dec. 5, 2023

Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s basketball team kicked off CCAA conference action Thursday evening at Cal Poly Humboldt. CPP came up short in a 61-58 loss to Humboldt, its second of the season bringing them to 3-2.

Thursday’s game was not only the first CCAA game for the Broncos but it was also their first road test of the season. Following the tip, both squads were slow out of the gate with only 13 combined points scored in the first five minutes of action.

CPP and Humboldt traded 3s in the midway point of the first quarter with Broncos guard Breanne Ha burying a deep 3 for her squad.

The game started to flip toward the end of the first quarter as the Lumberjacks gained some momentum. Back-to-back 3-pointers and a breakaway layup capped off an 8-0 run that gave Humboldt an 18-11 lead to end the first quarter.

Humboldt’s points off turnovers killed the Broncos all night, and Broncos head coach Danelle Bishop touched on that after the game.

“It’s hard to overcome self-inflicted mistakes, we need to clean those up as we move forward,” Bishop said.

CPP started off the second quarter hot with a 3-pointer from forward Jeanette Fine and two converted free throws from guard Skylar Dillon to cut the lead to 18-16; however, Humboldt found a basket whenever the Broncos tried to launch a comeback.

The remainder of the second quarter followed the same script as every time the Broncos found a bucket, the Lumberjacks pulled away again and again.

With a minute left, the Broncos trailed 31-26 and looked to head into the half with some energy. Humboldt  hit two massive 3-balls to send the Lumberjacks into the half up 37-26 over the Broncos. The 11-point lead was the largest yet of the game.

Guard Kayla Keshmeshian fights through Biola’s defense Nov. 21. | Andre Davancens

The Broncos desperately needed some juice coming out of the half, and they got it in the third quarter. The Broncos cut the lead to four midway through the third quarter after huge buckets from Fine, Dillon and Kalaya Buggs. With the score now 41-38, the Broncos made this a game once again.

The next few minutes of the quarter featured some hard-nosed defense by both squads. CPP was down 46-42 after a layup by Dillon. And with nine seconds left in the quarter, the Broncos hit a huge 3 to cut the lead by Humboldt to one. The 3 was hit by guard Reina Sausedo, and Humboldt led the Broncos 46-45 headed into the fourth and final quarter.

The Broncos trailed for the entire third quarter, but after Buggs’ two-point jump shot, CPP reclaimed their first lead since the second quarter. The Broncos led 47-46 with 9:04 to go before the Lumberjacks responded with a jumper of their own to reclaim their lead 48-47.

CPP went 1-2 from the charity stripe at its next chance, and this contest was now tied 48-48. Following the score being knotted up, the Lumberjacks rattled off a 6-0 run to give them a 53-48 lead with 5:37 to go.

Fine then responded with two consecutive drives to the lane and two layups to make it a one-point game. After Fine’s two crucial layups, the Lumberjacks responded with a massive 3-point play to send their lead back to four with 3:30 to go.

For the next two minutes, CPP and Humboldt traded baskets but CPP never cut into the Lumberjacks’ lead. With three seconds to go, the Lumberjacks missed the second of two awarded free throws to keep this contest a three-point game and give CPP one last shot at forcing overtime.

The Broncos had one more chance but could not get their last three point attempts to go from Sausedo, and the game was over.

The Lumberjacks shot an impressive 12-24 from behind the arc and 5-6 from the free-throw line to the Broncos 4-13 from three and 14-20 from the free-throw line.

Humboldt won the battle of bench points, points off of turnovers and fast break points, and Bishop noted how those need to change in order for CPP to win these tough games: “This is the first time this season that we haven’t won these key margins of the game. We will be looking to fix that in our next outing.”

CPP played the second leg of its road trip against the Chico State Wildcats Dec. 2, and Bishop was hopeful the team would bounce back from the setback.

“This is a long season, and it’s all about how you respond from a tough loss like this one,” Bishop said.

Sure enough, the Broncos proved resilient, beating the Wildcats 89-84 in a tight matchup to improve to a 4-2 overall record headed into their home opener against  the San Francisco State University Gators Thursday, Dec. 7.

Feature image courtesy of Andre Davancens

Verified by MonsterInsights