Cal Poly Pomona women’s basketball team dominated the Stanislaus State Warriors Thursday evening, led by guard Reina Sausedo’s CPP career-high 20 points in a 94-70 win for the Broncos.
The Broncos started off the game completely shutting down any offensive scheme the Warriors brought out early to jump out to an early 18-4 lead in the first quarter.
The early surge was led by Sausedo, a Stanislaus County native, who poured on a massive 10 points in the first quarter off the bench, a huge contribution in the opening 10 minutes of play when compared to her more modest season average of 4.7 points per game.
“That was her taking her opportunity and running with it,” said women’s basketball coach Danelle Bishop. “It was nice for her being 20 minutes away from her hometown having a great night both offensively and rebounding where she was only two rebounds away from a double-double.”
The Broncos carried their momentum from the first quarter into the second, scoring most of their points on transition points off of swarming defense.
Though forward Sydney Nelson also exceeded her own season averages in points, the biggest area of importance for the freshman phenom was her ability to switch on defense by using her length to prevent any interior passing and prevent high-percentage shots.
“A lot of it is just teamwork,” said Nelson. “During practice, we do a lot of defensive drills, and we really go our hardest to make it difficult for each other during practice so that in the games it makes it a lot easier to execute.”
The Broncos entered the locker room for halftime leading the Warriors by a massive 26 points while holding the Warrior’s highest scorer to only five points in the half.
However, the Warriors came out of the halftime break with an attacking mentality, drawing fouls left and right with the Bronco’s defense allowing free points at the line.
The Warriors shot 10 free throws in the third quarter after shooting six in the first half while raising their shooting percentage from 27% to 43% from the field and began to turn around their lackluster performance from the first half.
The Bronco’s lead remained intact however, when their defense was hit with foul trouble, the offense continued their scorching hot streak.
Senior guard Breanne Ha’s three-point shooting helped keep the Warriors from cutting the deficit in the second half, with Ha finishing the game shooting an outstanding 50% from the arc.
The third quarter saw the teams going back and forth, but after each Warrior score it seemed as if the Broncos had an answer and then some to keep their point total rising.
The fourth quarter began just as the first quarter did with Sausedo taking over early in a point guard role she hadn’t played fully this season.
Sausedo scored, rebounded and found her teammates in the right place and what came as a shock in the first quarter became the norm with her affecting every aspect of the game. She ended the match with an impressive 20 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Coach Bishop was able to clear her bench early in the fourth quarter and get all her players a run late in the game.
“We have to get better at that in terms of going deeper into our bench and we will,” said Bishop. I am super happy for the girls, and this is the hardest working team I have ever had.”
After coming off a knee surgery in August and with her former teammates and family in the crowd supporting Sausedo’s CPP career high the night became even more special for the junior guard.
“It was a really special moment for me,” said Sausedo. “I knew that my coaches were coming and people who have been working with me my entire basketball career and I was just really excited to try and put on a show today and do what I know I can do best.”
The Broncos let some of their 35-point lead slip a bit but still won the game by 24 points.
The Broncos team acknowledged they let off the gas a bit towards the end but hopes to take this as a learning lesson for the rest of the season.
“We have to stay aggressive a lot of our points were because we were attacking the paint,” said Nelson.
The Broncos 10-5 will return home next Thursday, Jan. 25 to take on the 8-8 Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros.