Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team needed a win Saturday afternoon to remain in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post-Season Tournament contention and did just that as they pulled off a huge 61-55 road win over the Occidental College Tigers.
According to Head Coach Roy Dow, "we are continuing to improve and as a learning team, we are now seizing opportunities to close-out games. In order to get into the SCIAC Post-Season we have to win and take care of business on our end."
The Purple & Gold's defensive unit held the Tigers to a mere 55 points for the second time this season. The game came down to the final 3:00 minutes. Occidental held a 55-51 lead but it was soon erased as Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.) connected from downtown that deadlocked the game on the Poets next possession, which sparked a 10-0 run for WC over the final 2:44. During the run, Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) made four free throws and Emily Guerena (Montebello, Calif.) converted a jumper and free throw that secured the road win.
The game was close throughout as Whittier held a slight 18-17 lead after the first quarter. They then trailed 34-33 at the break and then saw themselves down 48-43 heading into the final 10:00 period. In the fourth, Whittier erupted for 18 points with 10 coming in the final 2:30, while holding Oxy to just seven, which proved the difference in the win.
Guerena was a force inside coming off the bench with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting with six boards. Cubel totaled 13 points with five steals, four assists and four boards, while Maglinte registered 11 points with four rebounds.
Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) produced an eight-point, five rebound effort along with three blocks.
Whittier shot 38% from the field and a mere 15% from three-point territory. They were outrebounded 43-35 but forced 16 turnovers, which led to 16 points. They also outscored the Tigers in the paint 22-12.
"I am looking forward to our match-up with CMS, Dow explained." "They are a team that has four consecutive conference championships, four consecutive tournament championships, and are well coached by Kristin Dowling. We need to play our best game but this is a fantastic opportunity for our team to compete against the defending champs."
"Our team has learned from the Chapman and Claremont-M-S contests. Our players excelled in their roles, and all possessions counted. You have to take the victories from the best teams with very good team basketball. I know the team is ready to have this final match-up with the Athenas."
Whittier has their final regular season game this Wednesday, February 14 when they travel to Claremont-M-S with tip-off set for 7:00pm.