The women’s basketball team showed a smothering defense, forcing 25 turnovers en route to a 67-47 victory Saturday over Alaska Anchorage. The Broncos (27-4) advance to the Sweet Sixteen stage of the NCAA Division II Tournament, with the West Region title game to be played at 7 p.m. Monday in Kellogg Gym. The top-seeded Broncos will challenge the second seed, Grand Canyon. The Antelopes (29-2) knocked off Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday. Monday will mark the first appearance for Cal Poly Pomona’s women’s team in the West Region championship game since 2004.
“We just keep trying to take it one game at a time and not look ahead,” Head Coach Danelle Bishop said. “We keep saying ‘It’s do-or-die time.’ We can’t let up. Each play has to be special and important and we have to be smart. Right now, our thought is Grand Canyon and that’s what our focus has to be.”
The Broncos had four players in double figures on Saturday. Leading the way was Reyana Colson, who scored 18 points and added five steals. Sarah Semenero nearly earned a second-straight double-double performance, netting 11 points and eight rebounds. Megan Ford and La’kenya Simon West contributed 14 points apiece.
The visiting Seawolves held a small margin at certain points in the first few minutes, but a three-pointer from Semenero at the 16:21 mark put the Broncos ahead for good.
The Broncos carried a 34-22 lead into halftime, showing tremendous team effort on offense. Around the midway point of the opening half, the ball was deflected off a Cal Poly Pomona player and appeared to be heading out of bounds. Colson made an acrobatic save and dished it to Jennifer Bryant, who swung the ball to Rosslyn Beard for a three-pointer.
The two teams matched each other offensively during the start of the second half, but the Broncos turned it on once again. Roughly eight minutes into the period, back-to-back turnovers allowed Colson to connect on consecutive layups.
An exclamation point on the night came from Kaitlin Derby with 1:48 to go in the game. Bryant came up with an impressive steal and passed to Derby, who made a three-pointer.