Courtesy: Rachel McDaniel
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Conference Champs!
Courtesy: CBU  
Release: 03/02/2013
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FRESNO, Calif. --- A season ago California Baptist University fell one game short of a conference title, losing on the last day of the regular season.

With nine seniors and a plethora of PacWest experience there was no way the 2013 Lancers were going to let that happen Saturday.

CBU needed just one win to clinch at least a share of the conference crown and got just that, defeating Fresno Pacific 81-54 to seal the deal. There would be no sharing for the Lancers, however, as Grand Canyon fell in its final game to Azusa Pacific.

"I am extremely proud of the way the girls came out and fought to get the result we had to have and end this season with a title," said CBU Head Coach Jarrod Olson, who claims a conference crown in his first season at the helm for the Lancers. "Winning a conference title is a really tough thing to do and these girls came out and fought for it down the stretch. We finished this season very strong."

It is the third conference championship in program history and first since 1990 for the Lancers. The win also gives CBU an 11-game winning streak to close the regular season.

CBU and Grand Canyon entered the day tied for the PacWest title, having already split the two games between the teams. GCU faced Azusa Pacific tonight, losing 63-57 to the Cougars, a team CBU beat by 25 just two days ago.

The Lancers didn't have their usual fast start in the game, but a 13-4 run late in the half put the Lancers up 36-26 and on their way to putting an exclamation point on the 2013 PacWest season.

CBU was up 45-27 at the break.

FPU cut the Lancer lead to 11 midway through the second half, but Myriah Hicks scored five straight points to ignite a 12-0 run, capped by a deep three from Lesley Vodicska.

CBU would be up comfortably the rest of the way from there, getting its largest lead of the day just before the final horn sounded.

"We responded to adversity tonight and really all season long," said Olson. "I was proud of how we fought through anything that came our way and did what we had to win. This is a great accomplishment for these girls."

The Lancers were led by Hicks' 20 points, as she hit 9 of 11 free throws and 3 of 6 threes. Simone Holmes also poured in 17 points and Jasmine Beverly led the team with 15 rebounds. 10 of Beverly's boards came on the offensive end.

Charde Stevens led FPU with 14 points. The Sunbirds' leading scorer Kearra White was held to nine points on 4 of 20 shooting by the Lancers' defense.

CBU finishes the regular season 21-5 overall, 15-3 PacWest and FPU finishes 4-21, 4-14.

The Lancers open postseason play on Tuesday as they host the first round of the NCCAA West Regional at 5 p.m.

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