Cal Poly Pomona Slips Past MSUB 75-68 For West Title
Kayleen Goggins scored 16 points in MSUB's 75-68 loss Monday in regional championship game and was selected to the all-tournament team (Photo by Scott Wu)
Kayleen Goggins scored 16 points in MSUB's 75-68 loss Monday in regional championship game and was selected to the all-tournament team (Photo by Scott Wu)

Monday, March 17, 2014

POMONA, Calif. – Tournament MVP Jada Blackwell scored 20 points and Ariel Marsh had 19, including four clinching free throws in the final 25 seconds, as Cal Poly Pomona defeated Montana State Billings 75-68 in the NCAA West Regional championship game Monday at Kellogg Gym.

The Broncos, who have won five Division II national titles, now head to Erie, Pa., next week for the NCAA Elite 8.  CPP will take a 25-6 record into the NCAA quarterfinals against East Region champion Edinboro. 

MSUB finished its season with a 25-8 record, falling one win shy of qualifying for the Elite 8 for the first time since 1999.

The Yellowjackets had four players in double figures in the contest as Bobbi Knudsen completed her career by scoring 18 points.  Kayleen Goggins netted 16 points.  Chelsea Banis had 11 points and Alisha Breen added 10.

Knudsen and Goggins joined Blackwell on the all-tournament team. 

Also named to the all-tournament team were Marsh and Pomona’s Ashley Lovett who had 11 points and 13 rebounds.  She finished the regional as the leading rebounder with 37.  Blackwell was the leading scorer with 78 points.

Both teams had their moments in the championship game.

The Broncos built a 25-15 lead at the midway point of the first period, but the rest of the half belonged to the Yellowjackets who scored 10 straight points to tie it.

That run featured three-pointers by Quinn Peoples and Goggins and two layups by Breen.

After Lovett broke the run with a three-point play, MSUB got back-to-back treys from Goggins and Peoples to go ahead 31-28 with 4:24 remaining in the session.

Eventually the GNAC champions settled for a six-point lead at halftime.  MSUB then started the second half with a three-pointer by Knudsen to go ahead by nine. 

That, however, was the high water mark for the ‘Jackets as the Broncos went on a 23-6 run to go up 57-49 with 10:07 remaining.  Pomona scored the last 11 points of that run including four each by Blackwell and Tyler Woods and three by Marsh.

MSUB twice closed to within three points, the first time at 57-54 on a layup by Breen with 8:28 remaining. CPP, however, rebuilt the lead to nine at 66-57 and again at 68-59 and 71-62.

MSUB then scored the next six points, all on free throws (four by Knudsen and two by Austin Hanser) and had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Goggins, who made 4-of-8 treys, missed from beyond the arc and Marsh then closed out the game with four free throws.

MSUB took more than half of its shots from beyond the three-point line making 11-of-30 (they were 23-of-58 overall).  But, Pomona used its inside game (they outrebounded MSUB 36-30) to earn more opportunities from the foul line converting on 22-of-27 compared to 11-of-14 by the Yellowjackets.

Knudsen, who finished the season ranked fourth in the GNAC in scoring averaging 17.2, finished the regional with 52 points.  Goggins had 41 points and Banis had 38 points.  Breen had 32 rebounds.