POMONA, Calif. -
Reyana Colson scored a game-high 26 points and Sarah Semenero finished with 18 to lead Cal Poly Pomona to a 60-51 triumph over UC San Diego in a matchup between two of the top three teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association on Thursday evening at Kellogg Gym.
The Tritons trailed by just three points with a minute and a half to play, but the Broncos closed the game on a 6-0 run to sweep the season series with UCSD and snap the Tritons' eight-game winning streak. Pomona's defense came through in a big way, limiting UCSD to a season-low 50 points in the game.
The Broncos, who suffered an 83-70 setback at Cal State San Bernardino on Tuesday, rebounded to hand the Tritons' their first road loss since December 3. Pomona (21-4, 18-3 CCAA) was the last team to defeat UCSD, recording an 82-75 victory on January 22 at RIMAC Arena.
Thursday's loss was a big blow for the Tritons, who entered the game ranked No. 9 in this week's NCAA Division II West Regional rankings and hoped to close out the regular season with wins over a pair of teams ranked ahead of them in the Broncos and Coyotes. UCSD falls to 18-10 overall and 16-5 in the CCAA, losing a shot at a top-two seed in next week's conference tournament.
"I thought we did a pretty god job defensively tonight, but we never really were able to get into a rhythm offensively," head coach Charity Elliott said. "I thought we played passive rather than attacking the basket. They were the more aggressive team and they came out on top because of it."
Colson, who leads the CCAA in scoring at over 21 points per game, finished 12-of-24 from the field to lead all scorers. She added four rebounds and three assists. Semenero was 6-of-12 from the floor and sank 4-of-8 from the three-point line. She finished with six boards, two assists and two steals.
Junior guard Chelsea Carlisle scored 19 points to lead the Tritons, but she got little help as no other player finished in double figures for UCSD. Carlisle was 7-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-11 from behind the arc, and tallied five rebounds and four assists. She is just five assists shy of breaking the all-time single season record of 159.
Lauren Freidenberg added nine points and eight rebounds for the Tritons.
UCSD shot 39% for the game, struggling to get going against the stout Pomona defense. The Tritons, who were averaging just under 66 points during their winning streak, finished with a total of 18 field goals, which matched their season low.
"Pomona did a good job of changing up its defensive looks and we just didn't attack them in transition or in the half court," Elliott said.
The Broncos shot 42% and held a 36-31 advantage on the glass. CPP also outscored UCSD 33-20 in the paint.
Pomona held a seven-point lead early in the first half, but UCSD rallied to within a point at 18-17 with eight minutes left in the period. Carlisle's second three of the game made it 24-22 five minutes later, but Semenero answered with a three of her own to give Pomona a 27-22 cushion at the break.
The game was tied at 33 following a triple from Nicole Anderson-Jew five and a half minutes into the second half, but Megan Ford followed with two free throws to spark an 8-2 Bronco run. Freidenberg hit a pair of free throws to bring the Tritons to within two at 49-47 with 5:26 to play, but Colson answered with a three-point play to keep UCSD at bay.
Emily Osga's free throws made it 54-51 with 1:34 remaining, but La'kenya Simon West came up with a huge offensive rebound that led to another Semenero three on Pomona's next trip to put the Broncos up by six.
The Tritons came up dry on their final three possessions and Semenero and West added three free throws down the stretch to give the Broncos their largest lead of the game at the final horn.
UCSD will wrap up the 2010-11 regular season on Friday night at Cal State San Bernardino. The Coyotes defeated the Tritons, 60-58, in the first meeting of the year back in January.