Whittier opens up 2017 with win over Caltech

Whittier opens up 2017 with win over Caltech

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

PASADENA, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team opened up the New Year Monday evening with a win at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) 74-60.

With the win the Purple & Gold improve to 3-9, 2-1 SCIAC and have now won two of their last three.

The last time these two teams met, the Poets held on for a one point victory 51-50 but this time around it was all Whittier as they shot 37% from the field, while four players recorded double digit efforts. 

Caltech grabbed an early 4-2 lead in the first quarter but that wouldn't last long as Whittier would put together an 8-0 run capped off with a three-pointer from Carly Buechler (Greenwood Village, CO).

They continued to light it up from the floor as Daniza Rodriguez (San Jose, Calif.) would answer from deep, while Emily Underwood (Nicholasville, KY) would connect with a jumper that gave WC a 17-12 lead.

The second quarter was tight but Whittier managed to still outscore Caltech 16-13 with nine coming from freshman Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) that helped move the score to 33-25 at the break.

In the third, the Beavers mounted a comeback and provided their biggest push as they would storm back to grab their second lead of the game at the 2:47 mark when Samantha D'Costa added a lay-up and a free throw that gave CIT a 42-39 advantage. 

D'Costa would sink a couple free throws soon after that extended the lead to three for the Beavers but over the final 1:15 Whittier's Ana Youngblood (Berkeley, Calif.) and Emilee Dy (Chino Hills, Calif.) would add a pair of baskets that put WC back on top 47-46.

In the fourth, Whittier found their offense once again with Rodriguez and Buechler adding back to back tres.  D'Costa would pull CIT even at 53-53 but that's as close as they would get as a 9-0 run covering a minute and a half would put the Purple and Gold on top for good at 62-53.

Caltech tried to comeback but the final dagger would be added over the final 1:20 where Whittier would outscore the Beavers 9-2, which included a three-pointer and two free throws from Dy and a pair of free throws from Rodriguez and Buechler. 

Buechler led the Poets attack with a season high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, which included going 4-of-5 from deep.  Cubel tossed in 16 along with six rebounds and Rodriguez would register 14 points, six boards, three assists, and two steals.

Off the bench, Dy was the fourth Poet in double figures with 13 points, while hauling in four rebounds.            

Whittier has the week off from competition to recover as they begin preparations for a SCIAC match-up with Cal Lutheran University this Saturday, January 7 beginning at 2:00pm in Thousand Oaks, Calif.