East Bay Women’s Basketball Wins CCAA Championship

Scarlet Schwenk, Managing Editor

The Pioneers are bringing the CCAA Championship trophy back to the Hayward Hills

Arcata, CALIF. —California State University, East Bay’s women’s basketball team, claimed their first CCAA Tournament Championship since 2017 after beating California State University, San Marcos 80-66 on March 5. 

CSUEB’s women’s basketball dominated San Marcos, the last team to defeat them, with a wire-to-wire victory. The Pioneers lost out on the CCAA regular-season title to San Marcos after COVID-19 led to canceled games and a lower overall win percentage. The Pioneers headed into the CCAA tournament for redemption, the team bounced back to win the CCAA Championship title. 

“It feels really good,” to bring the CCAA Championship title home after losing out, “we had no control over that, but [the CCAA championship] we definitely had control over,” Delia Moore said. 

The women of East Bay exerted control over the game, executing strong teamwork powered by their defense and offensive strength. 

“I think that the credit though has to go to our, you know, our players. I just feel like they were so prepared and so locked into the game plan, and their execution of it was just tremendous; we know that especially in a tournament format,” head coach Shanele Stires explained in a CCAA press conference.

Stires went on to praise her team for putting together 40 minutes of what they call “East Bay Basketball,” with their win against San Marcos a prime example of “a night where [they] put it all together.” 

The ladies of CSUEB powered through the game, not falling behind once while shooting 45.2% from the field. The Pioneers did their best work close to the bucket, scoring 42 points in the paint, almost double San Marcos’s (26). 

“We finally played 40 minutes of basketball both on offense and on defense and as we play [as a] team,” Madison Schiller detailed. 

Their on-court communication remains a clear component to their success, trusting Stires and each other’s ability in addition to their selflessness as a team, Zhane Duckett noted in the press conference. Starting the game with a strong defense anchored the team from the get-go. 

Heading into the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament, CSUEB has its sights on winning a National Title. With the likelihood of hosting the opening round games at Pioneer Gymnasium, the team is looking forward to home-court advantage in the first three rounds. Two wins at home could propel them to the Elite Eight in Birmingham, Ala.

“Our program has been building momentum the last several years, and I think that’s something that we’ve talked about is we have our eyes set on a national championship, and it starts by winning the west region,” Stires continued. 

Delia Moore earned the Elite 13 Award, which recognizes players for their academic achievement; Moore led CSUEB’s scoring with 15 points, followed closely by Duckett with 14 and Schiller adding 13 points. Freshman Christina Bacci, who did not play in the last game against Cal State LA, provided a crucial spark off the bench with 11 points in a mere 16 minutes.

(Left, Delia Moore #3 and Right, Zhane Duckett #1) Photo Courtesy of CCAA

“I take my studies very seriously and spend a lot of time working on my academics. I’m grateful that in addition to playing basketball, I can get a really high level of education,” Moore said when asked about the Elite 13. 

As for Duckett, her contributions were not limited to scoring, as she added seven rebounds and six assists to claim the 2022 CCAA Tournament MVP award.

“Honestly, this has been a pretty rough year for me [but] I just never gave up, and I knew it was really time for me to step up for my team as a point guard, you know, as a guard who stays on the floor for a long period of time,” Duckett explained.

Photo Courtesy of CCAA


With the support of her teammates and coaching staff, she added: “[I’ve] worked hard for this… whether it’s me rebounding, assisting, [or] creating for my teammates scoring… I really left everything on the floor,” Duckett explained, adding, “I’m truly honored that [the CCAA] chose me as MVP, and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates or my coach.”

The Pioneers’ defense limited San Marcos to shooting 32% from the field and 20.8% on three-pointers. San Marcos’ guard and CCAA Player of the Year, Akayla Hackson, was bottled up by the Pioneer defense, shooting 4-13 from the field (about 30%) down from her season average 44.9%. 

A potential rematch, and payback, may be on the horizon as San Marcos has a chance to be selected for the NCAA DII Women’s Basketball Tournament West Regionals. However, the Pioneers head into the week with their hearts set on remaining the “Queens of the Hill,” coined by Eric Harding, CSUEB’s Sports Information Director.

Photo Courtesy of CCAA