Women's basketball secure spot in CCAA tournament
March 1, 2009 9:54 PM
You could hear the enthusiastic cheers ringing all the way down the hall into the girl's locker room. The noise came from SF State's main gymnasium, and rightfully so, because the SF State women's basketball fans had plenty to cheer about Friday night. The Gators solidified their spot in the CCAA Championships for the 2009 season.
The Gators had back-to-back victories last week with wins against Cal Poly Pomona (57-34) and Cal State San Bernadino (50-43).
"Going from 9th place to 6th place is a great thing," head coach Joaquin Wallace said. The Gators went 8-12 in CCAA play and had a 14-13 overall season record.
SF State kicked off the two-game home stand against the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos, who came into the game with a 15-12 season record and were 11-7 in the conference. Despite three lead changes in the first half, the Gators defense was able to hold off the Broncos to 8-29 shooting, going into the locker room at the half ahead 23-19.
SF State never lost the lead in the second half. With senior Desiree Butler and junior ZaLisha Oliver contributing 11 points a piece, the Gators triumphed over the Broncos 57-38, bringing them one game closer to the CCAA Championship.
"I thought it was our best defensive effort," Wallace said post-game, but adding that the team would have to focus and win the following night's game. "Hopefully we can clinch."
The Gators were going to have to take a large bite out of the competition during Friday's regular season finale against the San Bernadino Coyotes. The game was a nail-biter from the start with three ties and two lead changes in the first stanza. The Gators went into the locker room trailing 29-26.
But the Gators took a 30-29 lead early in the second half and never looked back. Stellar defense held the Coyotes to five field goals for 28 attempts, and the Gators won 50-43.
Seniors Desiree Butler, Krystal Mays and Jamie Hall all contributed rebounds in their last game as Gators. Junior Donisha Tate posted her sixth career double-double with 15 rebounds and 17 points. Butler, junior Jessica Hout-Freeman and sophomore Dominique Hunter each contributed 7 rebounds.
The team had a specific plan of action after Friday night's victory.
"We are going to take tomorrow off," Wallace said with a smile.
"We're ready for whoever we have to play," junior Madeleine Schwartz said, adding that the team was feeling "really confident" after defeating the Coyotes.
SF State will kick off the CCAA Championships Tuesday, March 3 at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
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