Cal Poly Pomona grabs CCAA title
HAYWARD, Calif. - Behind a career-high 29 points from Megan Ford against the nation's top-ranked defense, the Cal Poly Pomona captured the 2010-11 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title Saturday with an impressive 59-53 win against Cal State Monterey Bay.
"Our team was focused on getting this done for our seniors and our coaches, being that it's their first year," Ford said. "Every shot I made was because of a great pass. It was a great team effort."
The win grants CPP an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament.
The Broncos now await Sunday's announcement of the NCAA Division II postseason bracket. With the results of the CCAA Tournament and second-ranked Western Washington losing to Alaska Anchorage in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) title game Saturday, the top of the West Region field is wide open.
The physical nature of Saturday's contest quickly was established in the opening minute. On the first field-goal attempt of the game, CPP's Sarah Semenero swatted London Houchin's chance enthusiastically out of bounds. Later in the same CSUMB possession, Semenero drew a tough charge to force the Otters' turnover.
A defensive struggle ensued, as the two teams combined for just four points through the opening 4 minutes. Although CSUMB took a 5-2 lead, the Broncos rallied right back for an 8-0 run capped off by a Megan Ford layup.
Immediately after though, the Otters managed to pull off an 18-0 stretch running just about 7 minutes. Following a layup by Kris King at the 4:12 mark, CSUMB held a lead of 14 points. That margin didn't faze the CPP lineup though, as the Broncos chipped away in the final minutes of the half to bring the score at intermission to 28-20 in favor of the Otters.
Colson dropped in the first bucket of the second half, caroming a layup off the glass with CSUMB's Julie Heurung towering next to her. Semenero sunk the second score, hitting a jumper along the right baseline to bring the Otters' advantage down to four 28-24.
A minute later, CSUMB senior guard Michelle Santizo cut into the paint and dropped in a layup to stop the short run. The Broncos broke free for a 6-0 spurt, with four free throws from Megan Ford and a bucket by Colson. That tied the score at 30-30 with about 5 minutes gone in the second period.
After a pair of free throws from the Otters, a Colson one-handed tip-in knotted the game at 32-32. Houchin put in an easy layup next but Colson answered with a jumper in the paint.
A three-point play from Ford off a layup and free throw gave the Broncos their first lead since early in the first half, 37-34, but a Houchin trey tied the score back up moments later. That initiated a 7-0 CSUMB run, which was stopped by a Semenero 3-pointer that brought the Otters' lead to 41-40.
A single free throw from Colson tied the score at 41-41 with 9:37 remaining in regulation. Houchin answered with another trey from the left corner on CSUMB's next possession. The Broncos scored on their next three trips down the floor while holding the Otters scoreless, leading CPP into a 47-44 lead. Houchin struck again though, tying the score at 47 points apiece.
The squads traded buckets over the next couple of minutes and as a result, the squads went into the final 5 minutes tied at 51-51. Back-to-back buckets from Ford gave the Broncos a 55-51 advantage, before CSUMB's Holly Holcomb sunk a layup off the right glass to trim the margin to two points.
The Otters continued to misfire their attempts and a critical steal by Semenero right at the one-minute mark returned the possession to CPP. A tremendous pass from Colson to Ford put the Broncos ahead 57-53 and with CSUMB turning the ball over moments later, the Broncos were in full control.
CPP held the Otters scoreless across the final 3.5 minutes, with the Broncos capturing the six-point victory.
Colson totaled 16 points while Semenero added 11. Leading CSUMB was Houchin, who collected 18 points.