Poets narrowly miss upset; Fall in SCIAC opener 60-52 to Regals

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's basketball team who is coming off of a win over CSU Maritime was unable to pull off the upset win over the Regals of Cal Lutheran University as their first half lead was short-lived as they fell 60-52 in their SCIAC opener. 

Whittier now drops to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in SCIAC play, while Cal Lutheran moves to 7-5, 1-0.

Last year, the Poets were outscored by 24 in their first contest and 43 in the second contest to Cal Lutheran, but this time around the end result was different as the Poets gave the Regals a scare in their SCIAC tilt.  Even with Cal Lutheran having a Division I transfer in Jazmyne Porter who came from Long Beach State the Poets managed to take an early lead 6-0 in the first half behind back-to-back three pointers by senior Tanisha White who finished with eight points and seven boards. 

This lead then was then extended to 18-11 behind three jumpers from Alex Coon and a three point basket from Brittany Aranda with 11:00 to play in the first half.  But this lead would then be short lived as the Regals chipped away at the lead and got within three with just under four minutes remaining behind two three pointers and a jumper from Channing Fleischmann who finished with nine points. 

With just under two minutes to go Cal Lutheran went on an 8-0 run to close out the half that put them up 30-24.

Coming out of intermission, Aranda scored four unanswered and got the Poets within four and then Coon made a jumper to get within one, but again Cal Lutheran extended their lead to six and even with the fight of the Poets getting within two a couple more times they were unable to regain the lead as Porter sparked the Regal offense in the second half pouring in 13 points off the bench to go with six boards.  On the evening Porter finished with a game high 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting and finished with six boards. 

On the Poets side, Aranda barely missed a double double as she finished with 14 points to go with eight boards, and Coon again showed her presence inside of the paint and around the perimeter as she poured in a team high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

On the game Cal Lutheran went to the line 16 times compared to Whittier's seven but the game changer was behind three point territory as the Poets shot 17% compared to the Regals 41%.  This played big dividends late in the game and if they were knocked down, the outcome might be different.  Another factor was bench points as Whittier was outscored 30-4 for the game. 

Coach Brad Durchslag feels his girls played very very well in this evening's contest and made a big jump from last year to be at a point where they had an opportunity for the upset. 

Whittier looks to continue in SCIAC competition as they travel to Riverside, Calif. to take on the Bulldogs of the University of Redlands Saturday, January 7 beginning at 5pm.