NCAA Women’s Division II Tournament : Cal Poly Pomona Loses in Final to Delta State, 88-58

Special to The Times

Delta State, a powerhouse in women’s basketball in the 1970s, returned to the top Saturday night with an 88-58 upset of Cal Poly Pomona to win the NCAA Division II title at the Walter Sillers Coliseum at Delta State.

The game was never in doubt as 10th-ranked Delta State jumped to an early lead and was never challenged. Perhaps the biggest difference was in rebounding, where the Statesmen held a 44-23 advantage over the second-ranked Broncos.

The game was out of reach for the Broncos after Delta State outscored Cal Poly Pomona, 35-8, through an 11-minute stretch midway in the second half.


“There is no doubt to their superiority,” Bronco Coach Darlene May said. “They would have beaten us tonight if we had played the game on the 10 (San Bernardino) Freeway.”

Delta State was a dominant program in the mid-1970s, winning three Division I AIAW National Championships. But Delta State had never won an NCAA title until Saturday night.

Cathy Gooden, with 28 points, and Niki Bracken, with 24, accounted for almost all of Cal Poly Pomona’s points.

Pam Lockett led Delta State with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Anita Robinson scored 20 points. Crystal Hardy added 16 points and 12 rebounds.

“I don’t want to make any excuses, Delta State is a great basketball team,” May said. “I honestly think that if we could have run our post offense the way we wanted to, we could have kept the game closer. But they killed us on the boards, no doubt about it.”

Cal Poly Pomona finished its season 28-6. Delta State was 30-4.