Poets thwart Caltech comeback 67-63

Poets thwart Caltech comeback 67-63

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

PASADENA, Calif. – Whittier entered the Holiday break Friday night with a win over the California Institute of Technology 67-63 and have now won three of their last five.

The Purple & Gold improve to 3-5, 2-2 SCIAC and currently sit 5th in the SCIAC Standings.

Three Poets recorded double digit scoring efforts led by Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.) who got back into the double digit scoring category with 15 points, which included three triples.  Emily Guerena (Montebello, Calif.) came off the bench to add 13 points, seven boards, three assists, three blocks, and two steals, while Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) tossed in 11 points on a perfect 4-4 night.

It was a tight game throughout with four ties and seven lead changes.  The Poets held a lead as many as 15, which came in the second quarter but Caltech was able to weather the storm using a big fourth quarter only to fall by four. 

After a close first quarter, the Poets were able to outscore the Beavers 17-8 in the second shooting 38% from the field taking a 37-24 lead into the break.  In the third, CIT began chipping away at the 15-point deficit, which included an early 9-0 run pulling them four at 37-33.  Emilee Dy (Chino Hills, Calif.), Kelsi Ikeda (Honolulu, HI), and Guerena stormed back soon after to add three straight layups to push the WC lead back up to double digits.

But right after Grace Peng went off knocking down three straight triples and the next 10-points of the third that kept the differential manageable at 54-43.

In the fourth the Poets had a hiccup getting outscored 20-13 and saw CIT pull within a basket at 65-63 at the :52 second mark following seven straight sparked by a three-pointer from Nika Haleftiras.

But that's as close as they would get as Guerena would knock down two free throws with under :10 seconds to play that sealed the win for the Purple & Gold.   

Despite being outrebounded 45-33 and seeing the Beavers go 7-15 (47%) from deep, Whittier managed to outshoot CIT with a 44% (25-57) clip, while forcing 17 turnovers, which led to 15 points.         

Whittier has a short turn around as they remain on the road tomorrow, Saturday, December 16 with a game against Cal State Bakersfield beginning at 4:00pm.