WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's basketball team earned a hard fought victory Sunday upsetting Northwest Conference powerhouse Linfield College 83-70 to win the Southern California Classic at the Graham Athletic Center.
Whittier who started the season off 0-2 has how put together two of their best games on the season beating Bristol University 74-60 on day one of the classic before handing the Wildcats their first loss on the season to improve to 2-2 on the year.
Carly Buechler (Denver, CO) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament finishing the two games with 31 points going 6-of-10 from three point territory, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block.
Sunday, the Poets put on a shooting clinic shooting 43.7% from the field, which included a 34.6% clip from deep. Priscilla Rodriguez (East Los Angeles, Calif.) led a trio of Poets in double figures, scoring 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting. She was joined by Dannika Navales-Lugtu (San Francisco, Calif.) who added 18 points, which included five three pointers along with four rebounds, five assists, and two steals off the bench, and Buechler who tossed in 13 points.
Linfield held a slight 16-13 lead with 14:35 to play in the first half and then went ahead by one 23-22 thanks to a jumper from Jessica McMillen. But Whittier would rattle off a 7-0 run to take the lead and never looked back. After a back-and-forth first half that featured seven ties and seven lead changes, the Poets held a 42-36 advantage, and led the second stanza from start to finish.
Whittier knocked down six 3-pointers over the opening 20 minutes and nine overall for the game, outperforming the Wildcats, who shot just 2-for-13 from downtown.
Linfield would pull within three 63-60 midway through the second but that's as close as they would get as Whittier would move the score to 68-60 before Rodriguez would take over scoring eight of the next 15 points that sealed the upset victory for the Purple & Gold.
For the Wildcats Amantha Hoodregistered a double-double en route to all-tournament honors, sharing game-high recognition with 21 points while hauling in a game-high 13 rebounds. Hannah Depew and Taylor Solomon also hit double figures in the scoring column, totaling 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Ana Youngblood (Berkeley, Calif.) who led the Poets with 16 points in the win over Bristol again proved big inside collecting 12 boards and chipping in with eight points.
MVP – Carly Buechler (Whittier)
Ana Youngblood (Whittier)
Kejuana Gardner (Bristol)
Tiffany Kho (Occidental)
Amantha Hood (Linfield)
Whittier has the week of Thanksgiving off from competition but begin preparing for the UC Santa Cruz Classic on December 12-13 when they take on UC Santa Cruz (December 12 @ 3:00pm) and Lawrence University (December 13 @ 3:00pm).