For the sixth straight game, the Lancers never trailed and as a result posted their sixth straight double-digit win. None have been bigger than this one as tonight's 76-58 win over Concordia put the second-seed Lancers into the Golden State Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament Championship game for the first time in program history.
"I'm excited for the girls that their hard work and selflessness has paid off," said CBU Head Coach John Marcum. "We were picked to finish eighth in this league and now we're playing for a conference title. They are over comers."
For a team that didn't even make the postseason last year and had just two conference tournament wins in 14 previous appearances, it's quite a feat as by virtue of top-seed Azusa Pacific's 81-62 win over Vanguard in the other final, it gives the Lancers the GSAC's second automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
It will be the Lancers' second appearance and first since 1982.
The GSAC Tournament final is Monday night at regular-season champion Azusa Pacific at 7:30 p.m. It's a rubber-match as the team's split two games during the regular season.
"This is a culmination of everything we've worked for since September," said Marcum. "We're getting close to our 100th practice. These girls have put the time in, bought into what we've asked of them, and at the end of the day, they're pretty good players. Monday is going to simulate a Final Four game at the national tournament, so we're going to have fun and see what that's like."
Tonight's game belonged to the Lancers right from the start as they opened the game with a 20-5 run. As has been their hallmark during this remarkable stretch, the Lancers shared the wealth. Five different players scored in the spurt, and they had five assists on eight field goals. Dana Olsen scored all 12 of her first half points in the opening spurt.
"This is the third game in a row where we've shared the ball, defended and were disruptive," said Marcum. "Pressure breaks pipes and when you put heat on teams early and pressure them from the start, it causes problems. One of our goals is to make the other team call the first time out, because that usually means you're doing something good from the start. We focused defensively, and that lead to easy baskets."
During this six-game winning streak, the Lancers have held each opponent to 40 percent or less from the floor.
Olsen, the league's leading scorer, led all players with 23 points and 11 rebounds, going 8-for-13 from the floor and making all seven of her free throws. She was one of three Lancers in double figures.
Once the Lancers grabbed their double-digit margin just 2:56 into the game on a lay-up by Olsen, they increased it to as many as 23 when Simmons made it 35-12 with a lay-up with 6:51 left.
They led 42-28 at halftime and never led by less than 14 the rest of the night. Their biggest lead was by 29 (75-46) with 2:15 left. It was yet another dominant performance down the stretch.
"It's a lot more about finishing well than starting well, but when you're playing a full 40 minutes, you'll be in good shape," said Marcum. "The key for us is to defend. We didn't shoot well and still won by 20, and that is a testament to how hungry the girls are."
Karen Carney led Concordia with 17 points. Nicole Fu finished with 11, but was just 5-for-18 from the floor.