Junior Marlene MacMillan posted her second double-double with 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in the win. (Photo: Kevin Hill)
The Cal State East Bay men and women's basketball teams picked up a pair of big wins during their first road trip of the CCAA season last weekend. The Pioneer men knocked off their second top-10 ranked opponent of the season, toppling No. 6 Cal Poly Pomona, while the women picked up their second league victory of the year over cross-bay rival San Francisco State.
Playing their best game since joining the CCAA in 2009, the men stunned the previously undefeated Broncos, 57-54. The Pioneers converted 11 three-pointers compared to one for Cal Poly Pomona.
Jason Smith led the team with a season-high 23 points including seven three-pointers, tying the East Bay program record for threes in a game. Jacari Whitfield also found success from long range, draining three shots from beyond the arc to end the game with nine points, while adding six assists. Roshun Wynne scored eight points, all in the second half, and pulled down eight rebounds. Jurrell Turner contributed to the Pioneer victory with seven points and eight rebounds.
“I can't tell you what a great win this was for our team,” Pioneer coach Will Biggs said. “We played our tails off and really competed on the boards against a very physical Cal Poly Pomona team.”
A tenacious Pioneer defense held the Broncos, averaging 70 points a game, to only 20 first-half points. The Pioneers took a 30-20 halftime lead, thanks in part, to Smith's four first-half three-pointers, and held on after the Broncos went on a 14-2 run late in the second half.
Leading by just one, 55-54, Smith secured the Pioneers' big victory with two free throws with seven seconds left.
On the women's side, the Pioneers put together a solid effort against the Gators, posting a dominant 64-39 victory - their first in the three-year "Battle of the Bay" rivalry. East Bay never trailed over the final 33 minutes of the game and doubled SF State's rebound total.
“This was a true team win, everyone contributed,” Head Coach Suzy Barcomb said.
A trio of East Bay players reached double digits in scoring, led by sophomore Brianna Terrance's 13 points, which marked her second consecutive game in double figures. Terrance went 6-for-8 from the field and added seven rebounds for the Pioneers, bringing her totals for the week to 27 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Marlene MacMillan joined Terrance, notching her second double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and pulling down a career-high 19 rebounds. MacMillan helped East Bay grab twice as many boards as SF State and shot 50 percent from the field on the night.
Sophomore Sarah Finlay bounced back from a rough game on Thursday to score 11 points off the bench for the Pioneers, going 4-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. Lauren Lucchesi added eight points for East Bay, while Nia Bravo posted five rebounds. Of the 11 Pioneers who played, 10 scored at least two points and nine grabbed at least one board and East Bay got 34 of its points off the bench.
Both teams are back in action this weekend on the road before returning home for the "Jam the Gym" doubleheader against Chico State on Jan. 20. If 1,000 fans attend the games, everyone at Pioneer Gym will get a coupon for free Chipotle. First tip is set for 5:30 p.m. at Pioneer Gym.