Cal State women go down fighting

The Cal State San Bernardino women’s basketball team pulled off one upset but couldn’t quite finish off another and fell to No. 2 seed Humboldt State 67-57 in CCAA Tournament semifinal play Friday at Coussoulis Arena.

Humboldt State, which has won 10 straight games, will play for the title at 5:30 p.m. tonight against Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The Coyotes (11-17) , seeded eighth in the field, stunned No. 1 UC San Diego in Tuesday’s quarterfinal and played a near flawless first half but couldn’t stick with the more well-rounded Lumberjacks (23-6) in the late going.

“We played well but the longer it went the more our weaknesses were exposed,” Coyotes coach Kevin Becker said. “They came up with some big shots late and were getting the rebounds. Rebounding and post play have been our problems for us all season.”

The Coyotes led by as many as 14 points in the first half, that
edge coming when Jaclyn Rainville hit a 15-foot jumper to put Cal State up 32-18 with 5:45 left. The Lumberjacks finished the half with a 11-0 run and only trailed 32-27 at the half.

Cal State also hung in early in the second. Humboldt State pulled even at 38-all on a bucket off the inbounds pass by Andrea Bobic. It was later even at 42.

But the visitors then put together a 12-1 that put them ahead for
good. Five of those points came from Katie Franci. The run also
included a 3-pointer by Jennifer Enos. The Lumberjacks built a
double-digit lead for the first time at 54-43 on a bucket underneath by Taylor.

The Coyotes last ditch effort came when Shannon Gholar scored on a layup after a steal at the Humboldt end that made it 56-50 with 2:03 to play. But the Lumberjacks pulled away at the free-throw line, making seven of eight tries the rest of the way with reserve Luiza Osborne hitting all six of hers.

Cal State shot 32.4 percent (23-for-71) for the game but had only one player in double figures, that being Morgan Pryor who tallied 20 points. Krystal Urza and Rainville chipped in with nine each. Rainville also snagged a team-high eight rebounds while Ashlee Ford had six assists.

Humboldt, ranked fourth in the West Region, shot 41.5 percent
(22-for-53) from the field and 69.2 percent (18-for-26) from the
line. It also benefited from a 49-40 edge on the boards.

It had four players finish in double figures led by Brittany Taylor
with 15. Franci contributed 13 points and 16 rebounds.

“They can score from all five positions. That’s different than any
other team in the conference,” Becker added. “And they have
multiple threats in most places.”

Becker was pleased with how his team finished after losing nine
straight games midway through conference play.

“The coaching staff was very positive with us,” Pryor said. “They didn’t give up on us and didn’t let us give up on ourselves. We had our ups and downs. It would have been a better season if the ups had lasted a little longer.”

C S DOMINGUEZ HILLS 74
CHICO STATE 61

Sophomore Neka Mixon scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Toros (20-9) past the Wildcats (16-13) in the other semifinal. Third-seeded Dominguez also got 10 points and five assists from Etiwanda graduate Aujanee Baldwin.

Chico State’s Melissa Richardson led all scorers with 18 points.