Senior Tori Breshers cuts down the net after leading the Pioneers to their first CCAA tournament title.
The Cal State East Bay women's basketball team made history yet again, defeating Cal State Dominguez Hills 68-53 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament title game to capture the university's first ever CCAA championship banner.
With the win, the Pioneers earned the No. 5 seed at the 2015-16 NCAA Division II West Regionals and will take on fourth-seeded UC San Diego in the first round of the tournament March 11 with tipoff scheduled for 5 p.m. It is the first time in program history that Cal State East Bay has advanced to the NCAA tournament.
The victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills was the 14th straight win for the 2015-16 Pioneers, who improved their record to 27-4.
"We accomplished our goal of winning a CCAA tournament title, and we had so many unsung heroes," said head coach Suzy Barcomb. "This senior class has led the way all year and tonight was no different. I cannot stress this enough — we are a team that plays for the love of the game and the love for one another."
Tori Breshers led all scorers with 23 points and was named CCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player. Fellow senior Laci Effenberger was also selected to the All-Tournament team after tallying 13 points, six assists, and five rebounds. She racked up 14 total assists over the two games in Stockton this weekend.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Pioneers had earned a 15-point victory to avenge last year's CCAA title game loss to the Toros. They got to cut down the nets at Stockton Arena and raise the first CCAA championship banner in CSUEB's history.
"This team has allowed me to push and push all season long as we worked to improve every day," said Barcomb. "Tonight they pushed themselves over the hump and won the title."
The NCAA Regional will be hosted by Azusa Pacific, which claimed the No. 1 seed after winning the PacWest Conference championship. The Pioneers (27-4) will take on fellow CCAA regular season co-champion UCSD (24-4) in a rematch of the CCAA semifinal game, which East Bay won 79-77 in overtime.
"We are thrilled to be competing in the program's first NCAA national basketball tournament, and we look forward to the next stage of our season," Barcomb said.