Senior Shannon Bland helped the Pioneers claim their first ever CCAA title.
The Cal State East Bay women's basketball team completed an historic regular season with a 69-44 win over Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday at Pioneer Gym to clinch a share of the 2015-16 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championship.
It's the 11th straight win for East Bay, and they finish the season at 24-4, the best regular season record in program history. The Pioneers end up in a first place tie atop the CCAA standings with Cal State Dominguez Hills and UC San Diego at 18-2. While the teams share the regular season title, East Bay will be the No. 3 seed in next week's postseason tournament due to tiebreakers.
The Pioneers, who entered the night ranked No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense, held Monterey Bay to 31.1 percent shooting for the night. The Pioneers pulled away in the fourth quarter, as four seniors scored in double figures on "Senior Night."
"Our Seniors have done such a wonderful job of leading us throughout this season," head coach Suzy Barcomb said. "It was especially rewarding to win on Senior Night, and in doing so, earn a share of the CCAA league title."
Laci Effenberger led the way with 16 points and went 4-for-8 from long range to extend her single-season record for made three-pointers to 88. She has hit from long range at least once in 43 straight games.
Tori Breshers posted 15 points and eight rebounds, and Shannon Bland notched 12 points and five assists. Madison Craig contributed 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting.
"Tori started off the game being aggressive on the offensive end of the floor and it gave us a jump start to the game," Barcomb said. "Laci was shooting it well from the outside tonight and that opened up our inside game. We had good solid contributions by so many players the rest of the way, and we shared the ball, finding the open shots throughout most of the night."
The Pioneers shot 44 percent from the field and had it going from deep, hitting 8-of-17 from beyond the arc.
Remy Puou added nine points and six boards. Bianca Littleton shined on Senior Night, tallying seven points and five rounds on perfect 3-for-3 shooting from the floor.
Prior to the game, the Pioneers held a ceremony to honor Breshers, Bland, Craig, Effenberger, Anderson and Littleton. The seniors have set new records at Cal State East Bay and include six of the top seven players on the team in terms of minutes and scoring. They accounted for 60 of the team's 69 points against Monterey Bay.
"This group of seniors has accomplished so many program firsts and set a new standard for our women's basketball program," Barcomb said. "We share this title with all of the seniors who came before who believed in this program and what we were trying to accomplish. Now we must turn our attention to preparing for the first round of the CCAA tournament."
East Bay will achieve another milestone on Tuesday when the Pioneers host their first ever CCAA playoff game. CSUEB welcomes in sixth-seeded Humboldt State for the first round of the CCAA Tournament as the Pioneers look to earn a trip to the semifinals in Stockton. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.