Poets drop nail biter in Poet Classic opener 64-59 to Regis College
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's basketball team battled in this afternoon's contest and put on a show for the 200 plus in attendance late in the game, but ultimately was unable to complete the comeback, falling to Regis College, 64-59, Thursday at the 2011 Purple & Gold Poet Classic. The loss now drops Whittier to 2-7 on the young season, while Regis moves to 5-2.
Whittier senior Brittany Aranda (Santa Fe Springs, Calif.), posted a game high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, her second highest total in non-conference action. Newcomer Dannika Navales-Lugtu (San Francisco, Calif.) finished with 11 points going 3-of-6 from the field. Junior Alex Coon (Wasilla, AK) who is averaging 14 ppg contributed eight points and six boards, while dishing out three assists and collecting a team high three steals. Coming off the bench, senior transfer Tanisha White chipped in with eight points in 18 minutes of action going 4-of-5 from the field while at the same time hauling in seven boards.
The Pride jumped out to an early 10-4 lead, but Whittier came back and got within one at the 10:00 mark thanks to a jumper from Coon. Regis then answered with a jumper from Sparks but again Whittier came back and took their first lead of the contest behind a Coon layup and two free throws from senior Keimi Lew (West Covina, Calif.) that put the Poets up by one 20-19 with 8:00 remaining.
The Pride wouldn't go away though as they opened up an 11-2 run late in the first half to extend their lead to 30-22. Despite trailing by 11, Whittier came all the way back to make it a three point game with just under two minutes remaining in the half behind an Aranda jumper and a Lew three pointer, but Kimberly Daniels made a layup to move the Pride to a five point lead going into the break.
Coming out of the break, Whittier went on an early 4-0 run to again get within two and eventually tied the game up twice more 34-34 and 39-39 behind a three pointer and a lay in by Navales-Lugtu but that's as close as they would get as the Pride opened up an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 48-39 with 12:08 remaining in the game. But Whittier never gave and got within five behind jumpers from Aranda and White but again Regis went on a 7-0 run to again apply pressure on the Poets late in the game.
Whittier made one final push at the end of the game and despite outshooting the Pride on the game 45% to 40% the five point lead was too much to overcome down the stretch. The Pride closed out the game knocking down 3-of-4 free throws in the final 1:25 to earn the 64-59 victory.
The Pride was led by Stephanie Crawford who finished with 14 points, while Emilee Marro barely missed a double-double by chipping in with nine points while hauling in 10 boards.
On the glass, the teams were even at 36 a piece but Regis capitalized off of offensive rebounds 13-3 that proved to be the difference late in the game. The Purple & Gold return to action in Day 2 of the Purple & Gold Poet Classic tomorrow as they take on the Titans of Illinois Wesleyan beginning at 4pm.