CPP's bench celebrates following a good 3-point shot against Cal Poly Humboldt Feb. 10. | Photo courtesy of CPP Athletics

CPP women’s basketball dominates SF State, cruises to 83-53 victory

By Ryan Ramirez, Feb. 27, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s basketball traveled to San Francisco State University to take on the Gators Saturday, Feb. 17.

While both teams started slow, the Broncos were too much for SF State to handle, with guard Kalaya Buggs and forward Sydney Nelson combining for 40 points to lead CPP to a commanding 83-53 win.

Neither team’s shots were falling at the start of the first quarter. There were a combined six missed 3-pointers before the first score of the game, which came three and a half minutes in when Nelson recovered her miss and connected on the layup.

Buggs hit a layup and forward Mydrea Moore sank a midrange jump shot to extend their lead. CPP showed off their defense as they forced the Gators to turn the ball over and capitalized by converting 17 points off turnovers.

“We’re always focused on defense,” said head coach Danelle Bishop. “It’s been what we want to be known for. We’ve had several games this year where we’ve really bought into our game plan defensively where we’ve been real successful on both ends.”

Alongside their solid defense, CPP’s offense continued firing off shot after shot early in the match.

Following Moore’s basket, forward Breanne Ha joined in on the action with a step-back 3-point shot to give the Broncos an 11-0 start.

It would be eight minutes and 13 seconds until the Gators would hit their first shot with a 3-pointer. They followed up with another 3 to end the quarter down 13-6.

CPP intensified its defense in the second quarter with a full-court press, forcing SF State to make extra passes, resulting in turnovers and transition points for the Broncos.

Nelson drew a foul on her shot with eight minutes and 39 seconds left in the second quarter, and although she missed the free throws, Moore came down with the board, one of 19 offensive rebounds for CPP, and found guard Andrea Stajic for a mid-range shot.

The Broncos followed up with two 3-pointers from guards Syndey Fedinec and Reina Sausedo to extend their lead 27-10.

Forward Sydney Nelson sinks a short range jumper against Cal Poly Humboldt Feb. 10. | Photo courtesy of CPP Athletics

Buggs continued her dominance as well by attacking the paint and getting to the free-throw line, where she made 13 of her 15 attempts on the afternoon as the half ended with CPP up 35-23.

The Broncos picked up where they left off in the third quarter as Buggs and Fedinec connected on 3-pointers to open the half. Their defense also continued to force turnovers and allow for transition buckets.

CPP’s offense slowed down toward the end of the third quarter, but the Gators could not make a dent in the Bronco’s lead as their shots were not falling and they had a tough time controlling the ball.

The quarter ended with a devastating block from Nelson followed by Buggs drawing the foul on a 3-point shot and converting on her three free throws.

Buggs shined once again as she opened the fourth quarter with a midrange jumper and a coast-to-coast layup after an SF State missed shot. Buggs reflected on how she was able to take over this game and lead the way offensively for CPP.

“One of the things that coach tries to get me to put in my head is to be confident,” Buggs said. “I’ve just been trying to do that, and it makes it a lot easier for me and opens up my ability to score throughout the game.”

But halfway through the final quarter, the game slowed down considerably as both teams fell into foul trouble and struggled to settle into a rhythm.

Moore showed off her rebounding skills again when she was double-teamed, grabbed the rebound after a miss and made the layup on her second attempt.

Ha got right back into the attack, scoring a layup and a 3-pointer to push CPP’s advantage to 26.

For the remainder of the game, the Broncos set the pace, forcing the Gators to pay for their errors on both ends of the floor. They increased their lead to a game-high thirty points and won 83-53.

“We did a pretty good job of keeping in mind that we still have a goal in reach,” said Nelson. “We’re still trying to get to that second seed spot and even though the season is winding down, we know that door is still open. We’re just trying to get to that spot and be as successful as possible going into playoffs.”

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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