Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s basketball traveled to Seaside Saturday, Jan. 20 to take on the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters, looking to continue their strong start to the season.
While the Otters never let the Broncos run away with the match and even tied up the game in the fourth quarter, consistently strong defense and a strong offensive showing from guard Breanne Ha ultimately delivered a 65-60 win for CPP.
The Broncos set the tone early on with a 3-pointer from Ha to start their monster first quarter.
CPP played strong defense as they denied Monterey Bay center Sarah Shaw from getting the ball and establishing her post game. The Broncos played a full-court press defense, which led to several Monterey Bay turnovers and resulted in CPP finding themselves up 19-7 after a dominant start to the game.
“Defense is very important to our team, and we make it a point for it to be one of our identities,” Ha said. “So, we let our offensive game be dictated by our defense.”
The Broncos would cool off toward the end of the first quarter as the team struggled to make shots and could not stop the Otters as they stormed back into the game, going on a 16-1 run to take the lead.
Both offenses stalled during the second quarter with CPP shooting 1-9 from the field and Monterey Bay shooting 3-12. The teams also surpassed double-digit turnovers before halftime with 15 for CPP and 17 for Monterey Bay. However, as halftime got closer, CPP slowly pulled away, doing so from the free-throw line. The Broncos sank 11 free throws out of their 12 attempts in the second and found themselves up 32-25 at the break.
Ha would again get the ball rolling for the Broncos as she hit another 3 and a midrange shot, setting the tone going into the third quarter.
CPP also regained their defensive momentum as they prevented the Otters from scoring in the first three and a half minutes of the second half, forcing a 24-second shot clock violation and a 10-second backcourt violation.
The Broncos would hear whistles that were not in their favor, however, as they received back-to-back 10-second backcourt violations and multiple fouls to end the third quarter, yet it only resulted in one made free throw for Monterey Bay.
Although Ha hit another 3-point shot to start the fourth, Monterey Bay found themselves back in the game as they evened the score at 56-56 after a 15-5 run.
Ha would yet again make an impact with a side-step 3-point shot, which made it 5 total 3s for the afternoon. This was followed up with multiple free throws from forward Syndey Nelson and guard Kalaya Buggs, which iced the game and gave CPP the victory 65-60.
Although the Broncos had their share of leads, the Otters fought until the final buzzer, forcing CPP to fend them off, something head coach Danelle Bishop took note of.
“We just know that winning on the road in the CCAA is tough,” said Bishop. “Every team gives their best against us. Our players understand that, and they also know that basketball is a game of runs. Our runs ended up outlasting theirs, and we were able to produce some key stops down the stretch. I am very proud of my team for staying together through adversity, and it was a great team win on the road.”
After the win over the Otters, CPP hosted back-to-back home games, starting with a match against the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros Thursday, Jan. 25. Read The Poly Post’s coverage of Thursday’s match against Dominguez Hills here.