LA JOLLA – Prior to Saturday night’s game, Cal Poly Pomona coach Scott Davis said No. 15 Seattle Pacific is a strong contender for this season’s Division II women’s basketball title. The Falcons and Broncos played a close first half, but Seattle Pacific pulled away in the final 20 minutes to win 77-58 in the second day of the CCAA/GNAC Challenge, played at UC San Diego.
“The fight we showed tonight against an unbeaten team, and one that probably will be ranked in the top 10 this week pleases me,” said Davis, whose team saw a two-game winning streak end. “Our execution needs to be better, but overall, we fought real well and didn’t give in.”
Junior Andrea Ohlssen led the Broncos, now 3-5 overall, with a career-high 21 points that included a 5-for-7 effort from the 3-point line. Senior Vanessa Dominguez put together her second successive positive night with 18 points and just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Her efforts followed a 19-point effort in the Broncos’ 68-62 win over Western Washington on Friday.
Cal Poly Pomona stayed with the unbeaten Falcons (9-0) and trailed just 30-28 at halftime on the strength of an 80-percent effort from the free throw line (4 of 5) and a 4-of-7 showing from the 3-point line.
Cal Poly Pomona’s Natasha Reed hit three free throws in the first two minutes of the second half to tie the game at 31-31, but that tie would not last long as the Falcons would go on a 15-3 run over the next six minutes to pull away for good.
After Ohlssen and Dominguez, Reed was next in scoring with five points.
Kelsey Burns sparked the SPU surge with three 3-pointers over that span, the last of which put the Falcons up by a 46-34 score with 12:18 to go in the game.
“In the second half, their maturity and composure took over,” Davis said. “For 25 minutes, we stood up and played awfully well. They’re a pretty complete team.”
Burns scored a team-high 17 points, 15 of which came in the second half, while Melissa Reich added 12 points and five rebounds. Jackie Hollands added 10 points and Beth Christensen posted nine points, six rebounds and six assists, giving her 14 assists in the tournament.
Two stats showed the difference in the game. The Falcons’ bench outscored CPP – 43-9 – and their inside players owned a 26-12 scoring advantage in the paint.
The Broncos return to the court Friday night when they play host to CS Dominguez Hills. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.