D2 Men’s Basketball – Cal Poly Pomona Broncos are champs!
“Redemption,’’ the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos men’s basketball coach exclaimed after his team defeated No. 2 Indiana University of Pennsylvania 65-53 for the NCAA Division II NCAA Championship before a crowd of 3,672 fans at the MassMutual Center located in the birthplace of the game.
It was one year ago that the Broncos lost in the NCAA title game, losing on a last-second, desperation 3-pointer from Findley’s Tyler Evans in overtime.
There would be little doubt about this contest on a chilly day in New England as the Broncos were out to claim their first NCAA championship and the 14th NCAA title in school history.
CPP, which finished the season 28-6, took control from the outset as it scored the game’s first eight points and never trailed against a team that entered play on a 15-game winning streak. For the game, the Broncos held IUP to its lowest scoring effort on the season and 25 points below its season average.
The Broncos became the first unranked team to win the championship since North Alabama in 1979. They also became just the third school in history to lose a national title and win the following year.
“I am so proud of our team’s effort today because it took our best game of the year to defeat a team that presents so many weapons,’’ Kamansky said. “That we held them to 53 points and stopped their big guns speaks volumes about our guys.
“But it’s more than just defense. We hit shots during the entire Elite Eight and we showed improvement from the foul line the last two games. It takes a team to win here and I can’t say enough about how they mesh together and play unselfishly.’’
Junior Donnelle Booker scored a game-high 13 points and Tournament MVP Austin Swift and All Elite Eight choice Dahir Nasser each had 12. Junior Tobias Jahn scored 10 points off the bench with three rebounds. It was Jahn’s second straight double-figure effort in the tourney.
–Courtesy Cal Poly Pomona Athletics