The Pioneer

Pioneers trounce Wildcats in home win

Photo+by+Melody+Platt
Photo by Melody Platt

Photo by Melody Platt

Photo by Melody Platt

Photo by Melody Platt

Photo by Melody Platt

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

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The Wildcats were no match for the Pioneers on Saturday.

Despite a slow start, the Cal State East Bay women’s basketball team bounced back in the final three quarters and blew out visiting Chico State, 69-45. The Pioneers are now 6-2 overall and 2-0 in California Collegiate Athletic Conference play, that includes a perfect 2-0 record at Pioneer Gymnasium.

The Wildcats (4-2 overall, 0-2 conference) came out on fire, led by Hayward native Michelle Townsend. The Mt. Eden High School graduate and Chabot College transfer nailed two three-pointers in the first quarter to help her team take a 5-point advantage into the second quarter of the contest.

However, CSUEB came back strong and outscored Chico State 23-9 in the second quarter, which helped them take a 35-26 lead into halftime.

“They did a good job of running their plays and scoring,” CSUEB senior Shannon Bland said. “However we then buckled down and played defense how we can. Sometimes slow starts happen, it’s all about adjustments and we just had to adjust to how they were scoring.”

It was a trio of seniors that led the way for the Pioneers. Tori Breshers, Madison Craig and Bland combined to score 44 of the team’s 69 points and grab 17 of the team’s 38 rebounds. Breshers’ impressive senior season campaign continued as she tallied a game-high 17 points and 8 rebounds. Breshers has racked up 1,045 points in her career, which puts her at third on the school’s all-time scoring list, just 165 points behind CSUEB’s all-time leader Antoinette Goode.

Bland, Craig and Breshers rank second through fourth in minutes played this season logging 260, 248 and 236, respectively. Fellow senior Laci Effenberger leads CSUEB in minutes played with 273 this season.

“I think I got some really easy and open looks to get to the rim because I have such good shooters that teams are so worried about them it can leave me open on some easy shots,” Bland said.

The route continued in the second half where the Pioneers dominated and outscored Chico State 34-19, including a fourth quarter where they only allowed 7 points. Effenberger had 9 points and 2 steals, while senior Ashleigh Anderson had 8 points, 2 assists and a steal in the winning effort.

“They have a lot of scorers,” Wildcats senior guard Brooke Bowen said. “It’s tough when they get it going.”

The Pioneers will travel to Atherton on Saturday to take on Menlo College at 5:30 p.m. The Wildcats will host CSU San Marcos (2-3, 1-2) in Chico at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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Pioneers trounce Wildcats in home win