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Top-Rated Cal Poly Pomona Women Start Quest for Another CCAA Cage Title

January 09, 1986

Ranked No. 1 in the nation in the first NCAA Division II regular-season poll, the Cal Poly Pomona women's basketball team opens California Collegiate Athletic Assn. play by playing host to Cal State Dominguez Hills at 7:30 tonight at Poly Pavilion.

Pomona, which has an 11-3 record playing mostly Division I teams, visits 16th-ranked UC Riverside in a CCAA game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Dominguez Hills is 4-9 and Riverside is 10-1.

The Broncos, who won the Division II championship last season, have never lost to either team, with a record of 10-0 against Dominguez Hills and 11-0 against Riverside.

Pomona Coach Darlene May said she has been surprised by her team's early success considering its difficult schedule of 11 Division I teams. The Broncos finished with an 8-3 mark against Division I clubs.

"When we started the season, I would have thought we would be about 9-5 at this point, and we're 11-3, so I'm pretty pleased," May said. "We beat some people that I thought we might lose to. The three losses (to USC, Utah and Oregon) were to teams that I legitimately assumed we'd lose to."

Pomona, which posted an impressive 83-71 victory over Cal State Fullerton last week, has four scorers in double figures, led by center Vickie Mitchell. The 6-0 senior is averaging 16 points and 12.4 rebounds and leads the team with a 53.9% field goal percentage.

Other leaders are 5-10 junior forward Debra Larsen, who averages 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds; 6-0 senior forward Debbie Flett, who averages 12.4 points, and 5-6 junior point guard Michelle McCoy, who is averaging 10.7 points and 4.8 assists.

The Cal State Los Angeles women's basketball team, which has won three of its last four games, visits Chapman in its CCAA opener at 5:45 tonight at Orange.

Cal State, with a 4-6 record, has been led by its senior guard tandem of 5-6 Megan Glaister and 5-4 Susan Perez and 6-0 sophomore forward Patti Held. Glaister leads the team in scoring with an 11.1 average and Held and Perez are averaging 10.6.

The Cal State Los Angeles men's basketball team will have a lot of incentive for its California Collegiate Athletic Assn. opener against Cal State Northridge at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Cal State L. A. Eagles Nest.

The Golden Eagles remember last year's season finale when Northridge ended their hopes of a co-CCAA championship and a NCAA Division II playoff berth with a 64-62 win.

Cal State L. A., one of the pre-season favorites to win the conference, has a 5-3 record and Northridge is 7-5.

"Northridge will bring us added incentive to get going on the right track in league," Coach Jim Newman said. "They're a good team that is playing hard and well."

Cal State L. A. has been led by 6-10 center Tony Brown and senior All-American guards Shawn Holiday (6-4) and Sam Veal (6-3).

In another CCAA opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday, surprising Cal Poly Pomona figures to discover how strong it is at UC Riverside.

Pomona has a 9-4 record--its best start in 19 years--and Riverside, considered one of the teams to beat for the CCAA title, is 10-3.

Pomona Coach George Fisher said the Riverside game will be a challenge. "UCR is my personal pick to win the conference," he said. "They have a lot of fine players and great depth. I think UCR and Cal State L. A. have to be right up there for the title."

Riverside has a talented front line led by forwards Robert Jimerson and Andre Greer. Jimerson is averaging 13.4 points and 7.7 rebounds and Greer 12.3 points.

Pomona, which posted an easy non-conference win over Hawaii-Hilo (79-53) Sunday, has been led by 5-10 sophomore guard Darron Suttle, who averages 15.5 points and 4.8 assists. In addition, 6-7 junior forward Gregg Brofer is averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds.

For the first time in the school's history, Azusa Pacific University has placed two players on the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American first team.

Junior running back Christian Okoye was selected for the offense and senior tackle Eric Lemasters for the defense.

Okoye, a 6-2, 250-pounder, finished fourth in the NAIA in rushing, gaining 1,355 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns. Okoye has rushed for 1,889 yards in his career and needs only 345 next season to become Azusa Pacific's all-time rushing leader.

Lemasters, 6-1 and 245 pounds, was the leader of a strong defense with 15 quarterback sacks in nine games to help the Cougars finish with a 7-1-1 record.

Senior quarterback Dave Russell earned honorable mention on the All-American squad for the second straight season.

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