NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL : Division II : Cal Poly Pomona Will Try to Defend Its Title Tonight

Associated Press

For Coach Darlene May, the margin that allowed Cal Poly Pomona to defend its NCAA Division II women's basketball championship title was narrow.

"It's never easy to repeat, but, whew," she said after No. 1 Cal Poly Pomona scored a 71-68 semifinal victory Thursday night over Delta State.

Her team faces North Dakota State for the NCAA Division II women's basketball championship tonight. North Dakota State advanced with a 77-61 win over Philadelphia Textile.

May's "prayers were answered" when senior guard Violet Palmer stole the ball with seven seconds left to send the Broncos into the championship game for the fourth time in the past five years. Cal Poly (29-3) won the Division II title in 1981 and 1985.

"They were the toughest Division II team we've faced all year," said 5-10 freshman forward Debra Larsen, who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Cal Poly Pomona center Vickie Mitchell was named the Division II Player of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Assn. on Friday. A senior from Jordan High in Los Angeles, Mitchell averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.

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