After winning the Azusa Pacific Cougar Classic last week, the Cal Poly Pomona men's basketball team expects a tough test season at the University of Portland at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Portland, an NCAA Division I team, is 3-2 and both losses were to Pacific-10 Conference teams (Oregon State and Washington). Pomona, which has a three-game win streak, is 5-1 but all of its games were against Division II and NAIA teams.
Pomona's Broncos had one of their top offensive performances in recent years in winning the Cougar Classic. They rolled over West Coast Christian (117-92) in the opener, the most points they have scored in 17 years, and outscored Azusa Pacific (91-83) in the championship game.
Coach George Fisher was particularly pleased about the victory over Azusa Pacific, which had handed the Broncos their only loss (89-88) two weeks ago.
"We're very happy to have won the tournament," Fisher said. "It was a great win considering the Cougars are playing as well as they are now. That was a playoff type of game that should be played in March. It gives us great preparation for our conference."
The high-scoring Broncos are averaging 85.4 points a game and the five starters are scoring in double figures. Forward Terry Stevens averages 14.8 points, followed by forward Zenon M (13.6), guard Darron Suttle (10.8), center Gregg Brofer (10.4) and guard Bill Dobbs (10).
Portland, a member of the West Coast Athletic Conference, is led by guard Greg Attaway, who averages a team-high 14.8 points, and guard Greg Anthony and forwards Robert Phillips and Adam Simmons.
The Broncos conclude their road trip with a non-conference game against UC Davis (1-4) at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The Cal Poly Pomona women's basketball team is favored to win its third tournament of the season, the Northern Arizona Sizzler Tournament, which starts Friday in Flagstaff.
The Broncos, 6-1, plays Ft. Lewis College of Colorado in their opener at 4 p.m. and Northern Arizona plays Denver at 6. The winners will meet for the championship at 6 Saturday.
Pomona has won the Pomona Lions Club Classic and the Taco Bell Classic at Fresno and finished third in the Cal State Fullerton Converse Classic.
The Broncos, two-time defending NCAA Division II champions, defeated Division I teams Weber State (80-76) and Fresno State (80-72) in winning the Taco Bell tournament last week.
Pomona has been led by 5-10 senior forward Debra Larsen, who averages 17.8 points and 13.7 rebounds, and 5-6 senior point guard Michelle McCoy, who is averaging 16.8 points and 5.7 assists. Both were all-tournament selections at Fresno.
Another standout is 6-2 freshman center Niki Bracken, a Compton High standout who is averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds.
The Cal State Los Angeles women's basketball team has played well in winning five of six games, but the competition will become more difficult starting with its first NCAA Division I opponent, UC Santa Barbara, at 5 p.m. Saturday at Santa Barbara.
Cal State captured its fifth straight victory, 67-60 over Chico State, in the title game of the Chico Women's Invitational Basketball Tournament last week.
The Golden Eagles have been led by 5-6 junior guard Geri Montanio, who averages 13.3 points and was named most valuable player of the Chico tournament, and 6-0 sophomore center Lupe Quintana, an all-tournament selection who averages 9.3 points and 11.3 rebounds.
Other players scoring in double figures for Cal State are 5-8 junior guard Shelly Bowcutt (11.5) and 5-9 sophomore forward Monica Cansler (10.7).
Coach Fran Buckless is understandably pleased: "They take a lot of pride in their ability to play and they're playing well as a team. If somebody wasn't playing well, somebody else would pick up in another area.
"I want players who play tough and work hard, and this group is doing it."
The Golden Eagles return home for a non-conference game against Northern Colorado at 7:30 p.m. Monday.