Poets close out 2017 with win over Lutes 56-48

Poets close out 2017 with win over Lutes 56-48

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team closed out 2017 in a big way Sunday afternoon earning a 56-48 victory over Northwest Conference foe Pacific Lutheran inside of the Graham Athletic Center.

The win gives the Purple & Gold their second win over their past three games as they improve to 5-8, 2-2 SCIAC.  Todays contest was also  the last match-up for the Poets in non-conference action as they posted a 3-6 mark on the season. 

The 56 points scored by Whittier on the evening is the second highest total they have had over their last five games with freshman Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) leading the offense finishing with a game high 18 points.  She was joined by junior transfer Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) who added 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting coupled with nine boards and two blocks. 

Daisy Cardenas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) was lethal from deep for the Poets on the evening finishing with nine points and five boards, going 3-for-6 from three-point territory, while Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) put up an impressive stat line of six points, five rebounds, an assist, and four steals.

The Poets got on top right away with Cardenas and Cubel adding a triple and jumper within the first five minutes.  Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.) who was out last game with an injury made a big return adding a three-pointer at the 2:42 mark moving the score to 10-7 but that lead soon diminished as Pacific Lutheran went on a 9-0 run that swung the momentum and the score in favor of the Lutes at 16-10.

The back and forth continued in the second quarter as the Poets put up 15 points with eight straight coming from Hanna midway through proving tough inside with her mid-range jumper.  But even with her spurt the Poets still trailed by eight at the break.

In the second half, the Poets mounted a huge comeback outscoring the Lutes 31-15, which included a 20 point effort in the third, while holding their opponent to a mere four points and 8% shooting in the fourth.  Emilee Dy (Chino Hills, Calif.) started off the scoring in the third with a nice take to the rack and pulled Whittier within six following two free throws minutes later.  This then sparked the offensive unit for the Purple & Gold as Kami Taylor (Bakersfield, Calif.) knocked down a triple followed by a Cubel layup and two free throws from White that deadlocked the game at 38-38. 

After a three-pointer from Kristin Sturdivan that put PLU back on top, the Poets responded with another run adding seven of the final ten points of the period to hold a slight advantage 45-44. 

Then over the final 10:00 minutes the Poets defensive unit stood strong holding the Lutes to a mere four points, the lowest total by any opponent this season in a quarter.  Whittier started off the frame with 11 unanswered with nine in a row coming from White, as she helped stretch the lead to 12 with 3:39 to play capped off with a three pointer from dead on.  Pacific Lutheran would add a layup and a pair of free throws down the stretch but it wasn't enough to top the Poets at home.    

Whittier shot 40% from the field and 35% from three-point territory.  They were outrebounded 31-28 and were outscored 26-16 in the paint but forced 19 turnovers, which turned into 20 points.                      

Whittier returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play this Wednesday, January 3 when they host Cal Lutheran University beginning at 7:00pm.