Broncos Advance To Regional Championship Game, Beat Cal State Bakersfield, 62-49

LAIE, HI ? Cal Poly Pomona?s men?s basketball team will get a longer stay in Hawaii.

The Broncos defeated Cal State Bakersfield, 62-49, in an NCAA Division II West Region semi-final Saturday night at BYU-Hawaii. The fourth-seeded Broncos (22-7) will face No. 2 seed Cal State San Bernardino on Monday, March 17, at 9 p.m. PST.

Jeff Bonds (So., Compton, Mayfair HS) led the Broncos with 20 points, while David Sybesma (So., Corona, Corona Centennial HS) had 19 points and 10 rebounds. The win was the Broncos? third straight over the Roadrunners this season and the fifth straight over Cal State Bakersfield overall.

The Broncos, who are in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time since 1976, have won 22 games in a season for only the second time in the program?s history. Cal Poly Pomona went 23-6 in 1963-64. That was also the only other time the Broncos have won two playoff games in a year.

Cal Poly Pomona shot 47.7 percent, while the Roadrunners shot 40 percent. The Broncos owned a 31-24 rebounding edge, led by Sybesma?s 10, which tied his season high. The Broncos were also an efficient 15-of-19 from the free-throw line, including an 11-of-12 performance by Bonds, who was aggressive driving to the basket throughout the contest.

Bonds also had six rebounds and two assists. Guy Beahm (Jr., Willow Glen, West Valley JC), who led the team with 15 points in the win over Alaska Fairbanks on Friday, was limited to just 17 minutes because of foul trouble and finished with six points on Saturday. Jonathan Williams (Jr., Pasadena, John Muir HS) had six points, four assists and three rebounds. He was adept at driving the lane and kicking it out to open teammates for 3-point attempts. He also knocked down two more on Saturday, giving him six in the two tournament games.

?They were awesome,? Cal Poly Pomona Head Coach Greg Kamansky said. ?It was one of our best all-around games all season. We competed and our guys played relaxed. We?re a tough team to play in the playoffs.

Cal Poly Pomona, which had to rally from a 29-11 deficit last Saturday night in Bakersfield to clinch a playoff spot, fell behind early again on Saturday, but never trailed by more than seven points, at 14-7. The Broncos finished the first half strongly and held a 28-25 halftime edge.

The game was even at 42-42 with eight minutes to play, but five straight points by Sybesma, three of them on a 3-pointer, put the Broncos ahead for good. A 3-pointer by Williams with 5:33 left gave the Broncos a 52-44 edge and the lead was never less than five points after that. A 3-pointer by Sybesma stopped a Cal State Bakersfield run and gave the Broncos a 55-47 edge with 3:23 to go.

?Wow,? Sybesma said. ?In high school, it was nice to go to the Pond for the playoffs, but I?ll take this any day. We?re one of the 16 teams still competing for a national title. We were ready for this game. You could tell by looking at everyone?s faces that we were confident and we weren?t going to lose.