Women’s basketball rebounds with win over Cal Poly Humboldt

By Jacob Rodriguez, Feb. 20, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s basketball team bounced back with a 52-46 victory over Cal Poly Humboldt Saturday, Feb. 10, improving their conference record to 15-7 as the postseason draws near.

While the Lumberjacks rallied to take the lead toward the end of the third quarter, when it came down to the wire, consistency on defense and scoring by power forward Sydney Nelson secured the victory for the Broncos.

The Broncos maintained a consistent lead over the Lumberjacks in the first quarter, holding a 15-9 advantage after the first 10 minutes of play.

Their defensive game led to some key plays, with deflections, blocks, steals and rebounds. The team totaled 48 rebounds throughout the entire game while preventing shooting guard Emilia Long, Humboldt’s most prolific shooter, from scoring all day, holding her to only four points.

“I thought we played really hard,” Broncos head coach Danelle Bishop said. “I thought we executed better defensively just knowing personal we’re short-handed right now. This was the first game we executed better defensively, so I think we held them to 46 points, which they typically average a lot more.”

As the second quarter followed, both offenses stalled, with CPP shooting 5-18 and Humboldt 4-14 from the field. Nelson kickstarted the scoring for the Broncos on a fastbreak, as they drove down the paint for a layup.

“Our defense creates our offense, and we get to speed up their temp or mess up their offense,” Nelson said. “My mentality was to leave it all on the floor, whatever it takes, going for the ball, going for every rebound, just going as hard as I possibly can.”

Point guard Kalaya Buggs kept the ball rolling, stealing from Lumberjack guard Sara Ahmadpour, allowing Nelson to get the layup to widen the lead once more.

With 22 seconds left in the second quarter, CPP shooting guard Breanne Ha sank a late 3-pointer to enter halftime with a 26-19 lead.

Although the third quarter started with shooting guard Sydney Fedinec sinking a 3-pointer, their momentum stalled. Humboldt began to rally back as they slowly chipped away at the deficit and held CPP to only eight points for the entire quarter.

With two minutes and 42 seconds left of the third quarter, the Broncos trailed for the first time in the entire game, 34-32.

After getting a defensive rebound, center Mydrea Moore passed the ball to forward Reina Sausedo, who in turn, assisted Nelson in tying the game. Moore then stole the ball from Lumberjack center Jadis Watson and assisted Ha on a fastbreak that led to a 3, making it 39-36.

As the end of the game drew near with four minutes and 27 seconds left, the Broncos trailed 46-45.

“I told Andrea as we’re subbing in; we’re winning this game no matter what,” said Nelson.

Moore helped regain the lead on a layup and later a midrange shot to give CPP a three-point lead.

Buggs sealed the game by making three free throws to end a close 52-46 game as CPP heads into the final games of the regular season.

This win marks the 42nd time in CPP’s 49-year history the Broncos owned a winning percentage above .500 as the CCAA tournament draws near.

“In our conference, there is a big jumble up at the fourth, fifth and sixth spots, and they take six to the conference tournament,” Bishop said. “All these teams are just grinding and fighting everybody’s best.”

Following the win over Humboldt, the Broncos kept the ball rolling with back-to-back road wins over the Cal State East Bay Pioneers and San Francisco State Gators, bringing the team’s conference record to 13-6 and punching themselves a ticket to the CCCA Tournament which will be hosted by Cal State San Bernardino from March 7 to March 9.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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