SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal State Northridge women's basketball team warmed up for the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. championship game against Cal Poly Pomona to the strains of Janet Jackson's "Control."
But the Lady Matadors displayed little of that quality Saturday night against Pomona, the defending conference and three-time NCAA Division II champion.
CSUN was trounced by Pomona, 80-46, before a gathering of 200 in a repeat of last year's conference championship game. Pomona won that one, too, but by just eight points, 69-61.
Pomona (25-2) now moves on to the NCAA championships, but Northridge (15-11) is not out of the picture for selection as an at-large team. The Lady Matadors will learn today whether their season is over.
Pomona's running game and tough man-to-man defense handcuffed the Lady Matadors throughout.
"I'm depressed, " CSUN Coach Leslie Milke said. "They paralyzed us."
The Broncos jumped to a 13-1 lead in the first seven minutes of the game, CSUN's only point a free throw by guard Julie Middleton.
"They started with a bang," Milke said. "We just never got rolling. It was tough."
The Broncos' offense was powered by 6-2 freshman Niki Bracken, who scored a game-high 25 points, and sophomore Marcine Edmonds, who added 18. Bronco Debra Larsen, named the most valuable player of the tournament, had 13 rebounds and six points.
CSUN's Denise Sitton, the Lady Matadors' all-time leading scorer, managed only nine points against the tough Bronco defense. Kathleen Dixon and Kristen Brinkema led the Lady Matadors with 10 points each.
Sitton was named to the all-tournament team based on her performance in Friday's semifinal win over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when she scored 25 points.
"We had to stop Sitton," Bronco Coach Darlene May said. "She is just too good."
CSUN was down, 33-19, by the end of the first half, but that came as no surprise to Milke.
"Our pattern has been to be down by 10 or more points by halftime," Milke said. "We usually come on strong in the second half, but it didn't happen today."
"When you stop our inside game you stop us," Milke said.
Cal State Northridge 19 27 -- 46
Cal Poly Pomona 33 47 -- 80
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE--Sitton 9, M. Dixon 6, K. Dixon 10, Middleton 5, Mellett 2, Brinkema 10, Ridout 2, Reuss 2.
CAL POLY POMONA--Larsen 6, Edmonds 18, Bracken 25, McCoy 16, Tezak 6, Gooden 9.