The CBU Lancers women’s basketball team is pretty good. Or at least, the Lancers have been pretty good over the past decade.
Well, first, let’s just acknowledge the elephant in the room. CBU has only been a member of the Division I ranks since the 2018-19 season. Prior to that, CBU was a member of the PacWest Conference in the Division II ranks. So, for those that like to debate if the success is legit or not because of these facts, I will acknowledge it.
Head coach Jarrod Olson took over the CBU program on April 20, 2012. And since that time, the Lancers haven’t had a losing season. Yes, 10 straight winning seasons. CBU has had seven 20-plus win seasons. In 2016-17, the Lancers won a program-best 35 games, winning the Division II West Regional.
In 2020-21, the Lancers ran to an undefeated regular season, and blowout wins at Orleans Arena en route to a WAC Tournament championship. Unfortunately, due to the NCAA transition rule, the Lancers did not represent the WAC at the NCAA Tournament.
Instead, CBU got an invite to the WNIT. The Lancers knocked off New Mexico and San Francisco in the first two rounds. However, the special season ended with a loss to Rice in the Fort Worth Regional championship game.
Over the past three seasons, CBU has won 20-plus games. In 2022-23, the Lancers made a run to the WAC Tournament title game. However, the Southern Utah size was a little too much to overcome, ending the Lancers chances of going to their first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament.
CBU decided to play in the women’s CBI. And it was a pretty good decision. Led by some heroics by Brittany Klaman in the semifinals, CBU was able to bring home some hardware. Klaman hit a buzzer-beater to give CBU an 82-80 win over Georgia Southern to advance to the title game. Playing against conference foe New Mexico State in the title game, heroics happened once again.
𝗕𝗞❗️ 𝗛𝗔𝗩𝗘 𝗜𝗧 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗪𝗔𝗬❗️
Brittany Klaman hits the game-winner in overtime to send the Lancers to the WBI Championship game! CBU will take on WAC foe New Mexico State for the postseason title at 4:30 p.m. Pacific!#LanceUp⚔️ pic.twitter.com/gdFm2DyNoh
— California Baptist Women's Basketball (@CBUwbb) March 19, 2023
The Aggies went on a 10-2 run and had a chance to tie the game on a last-second layup attempt. But, it fell short, sending the Lancers back to Riverside with a title.
It’s ironic that CBU beat New Mexico State to win the women’s CBI. It was that same New Mexico State team in 2021 that CBU head coach Jarrod Olson picked up his 200th win as the Lancers leader.
Since becoming the head coach in 2012, Olson has won 256 games at CBU. Olson has a .733 winning percentage and an overall record of 256-93. The Lancers are 154-45 in conference play under Olson. This includes a 58-19 record in WAC play.
Players like Ane Olaeta, Caitlyn Harper, Trinity San Antonio, Brittany Thomas, and more have all contributed to the success of the CBU women’s basketball team. Three of these four put CBU on the map in 2020-21 when the Lancers ran to a perfect 21-0 overall record and 14-0 record in WAC play. The average margin of victory during that special season was nearly 16 points. Yes, that is how dominant the Lancers were in 2020-21.
Going back to when Olson took over, the Lancers had a pretty special season in 2012-13. CBU won went 25-6 overall and made a run to the NCCAA Championship, earning a runner-up finish.
Two seasons later, the Lancers won the Division II West Regional before earning runner-up honors. Twice in Olson’s tenure, the Lancers won the Division II West Regional. Along with that, the Lancers have been invited to the WNIT three times, holding a 2-3 record.
Had it not been for the pesky transition rule, perhaps the Lancers would have an NCAA Tournament win under their belts, as well.
Under Olson’s watch, the Lancers had a two-time All-American in Cassidy Mihalko. In the first season in the WAC in 2018-19, Jarrod Olson was named Coach of the Year and Brittney Thomas earned Newcomer of the Year. Two years later, Ane Olaeta was named WAC Player of the Year and Jarrod Olson earned the Kay Yow Coach of the Year honor, given to the top coach in Women’s Division I College Basketball.
As you can see, the past decade has been pretty good for the CBU women’s basketball team. And this is just from scratching the surface. Jarrod Olson has taken the Lancers from NAIA to Division II to Division I members without missing a beat. Olson will be the first to tell you that is all on the players they have recruited over the years. And, he is right. But it also takes a leader at the helm to make it all come together.
26, 23, and 22.
Those are the win totals over the past three seasons for the Lancers. WNIT, WNIT and CBI (champs). Those are the past three postseason tournaments the Lancers have played in. The record in those three tournaments combined: 5-2. More postseason wins over that stretch than any other team in the WAC.
Can the Lancers start a new decade of success?