With 45 years of history to choose from this list wouldn’t have been comprehensive if it was easy to put together. So of course with our first item on the list we took the easy way out and combined two moments to give you 10a and 10b in the opening slot of our countdown.
CBU’s 1982 women’s basketball team set a standard that all other subsequent squads have been trying to live up to since the Lancers made their run to the program’s first ever NAIA National Tournament. The one team to tackle that challenge head on and live up the billing was the 2011 team that won the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament and made a long awaited return trip to the NAIA’s proving ground.
The 1982 and 2011 squads were two teams separated by 29 years, but reached the same heights of success and that is why they couldn’t be split up.
No. 10a - 1982 Women’s Basketball wins the West Region Championship, earns a trip to the NAIA National Tournament.
With the CBU women’s basketball program just seven years old and the NAIA National Tournament in only its second year of existence the Lancers made a run that would be remembered in the following 30 years and beyond.
A year after going 17-12 and missing out on any sort of postseason play, the Lancers rattled off what still stands as the second highest win total in program history, going 25-7 and winning the West Region title to reach its first ever national tournament.
CBU entered the postseason 23-6 and were the host and favorites heading into the NAIA District Playoffs. The Lancers opened by defeating Azusa Pacific, 59-56, in front of a raucous home crowd and then sealed their bid to the big dance with an 87-72 victory over Saint Martin’s.
“We had never seen an atmosphere like that for a women’s basketball game or really for any team other than the 1976 men’s basketball team up until that point,” said then CBU Head Coach Dave King, who is still the winningest coach in program history with a 321-244 record. “The gym was packed and when the game ended everyone threw confetti on the floor. I spent the next day sweeping the place up along with making travel arrangements for the national tournament. It was a great moment.”
The Lancers’ magic didn’t just start with the postseason however. Early in the year the Lancers won a game over UC San Diego with a half court buzzer-beater and from there the charmed ride was on.
“We lost a really tough game at Point Loma and on the ride home I could see the determination on the girls faces that they did not want to let that happen again,” said King
CBU went on to win its next 14 games after that night, compiling what is still the third longest winning streak in program history.
The Lancers would lose in the opening round of the eight team NAIA tournament to the previous season’s runners-up, Berry, 102-65, but reached a level of success that was not matched until just shy of 30 years later.
On the eve of the 2011 GSAC Tournament it had been 29 years since the ’82 team’s magical run, but CBU was looking for more than just the first national tournament berth since that year going into the conference tourney.
The Lancers likely already had a good shot at a spot on the NAIA national stage with a 23-7 record and the No. 5 overall national ranking that season. What CBU didn’t have was a conference tournament title to its name and with the previous year’s national runners-up and No. 3-ranked Azusa Pacific included in an ever tough GSAC field, it seemed to be a tall order.
CBU ran roughshod through the opening round and semifinals, however, defeating The Master’s, 69-46, and Concordia, 76-58, to set up a date with APU in the finals.
The Lancers made program history by going into Azusa and coming away with a 79-76 victory to lock up the automatic tournament bid that had eluded the 28 teams which came before them since 1982.
After holding a double-digit lead for most of the game, CBU had to hold off a late Cougar charge, getting eight of the final 15 points from V.V. Vasciunaite and two clutch foul shots from Dana Olsen to seal the win.
The Lancers would go on to make a run into the Sweet 16 at the national tournament, but were thwarted by underdogs Shawnee State, 64-58, to end the season. Even so, the 2011 season turned out to be a run only those players on the 1982 squad could relate to as the Lancers found their way back on to the national scene.
CBU and the transition to the NCAA series timeline
June 14 – Introduction to the series
June 17 – Moment No. 10 - 1982/2011 Women's Basketball
June 18 – Moment No. 9
June 19 – Moment No. 8
June 20 – Moment No. 7
June 21 – Moment No. 6
June 24 – Moment No. 5
June 25 – Moment No. 4
June 26 – Moment No. 3
June 27 – Moment No. 2
June 28 – Moment No. 1
July 1 – A comprehensive look back at more than 45 years with the NAIA
July 8 – A look back at the last three years of transition to the NCAA