Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
ORANGE, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team took part in a Division III West Region Showdown Thursday night with No. 23 George Fox University. They kept it close early but fell late to the Bruins 60-39 inside of the Hutton Sports Center.
Whittier has now dropped two in a row and move to 3-7, 2-2 SCIAC, while George Fox improves to 7-2.
It was the season opener for newly acquired junior transfer Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) who joined the Purple & Gold this week after a stint at Carson-Newman University, and what a nice addition she was. Leading the Poets with 15 points and missing a double double with nine boards along with three blocks. She played 23 minutes in the starting lineup and finished 7-of-16 from the field.
Whittier went on top in the early stages of the first quarter with Hanna adding the first six points, which included two jumpers and a layup. Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) added a layin soon after that stretched the lead to 8-3 but it would be short-lived as GFU would storm back with a triple and layup by Haylee Hutzler and Madison Hull that deadlocked the game. Daisy Cardenas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Emily Guerena (Montebello, Calif.) put the Poets back on top with a three-pointer and a pair of free throws but that would be the last lead for Whittier as the Bruins would come back to outscore WC 6-0 over the final 1:12 to take a 17-13 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish.
Five straight by the Bruins to open up the second quarter moved the score to 22-13. Guerena tried to keep the Poets close with a layup and jumper but a 5-2 run to close out the frame would give GFU a double digit lead at halftime.
Three quick baskets by the Bruins opened the game up in the third, while Whittier's offense was limited with a mere seven points being held under 10 points for the second consecutive quarter.
WC did put together a 7-0 run to start the fourth with Cubel adding four and Hanna with a couple layins and free throw. This pulled the Poets within 13 but again that's as close as they would get as the Bruins would bounce back with a 10-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Guerena was the only other Poet in double figures with 12 off the bench in 25 minutes of action. She also added four rebounds, an assist, two steals, and three blocked shots.
Cubel added seven in 28 minutes going 3-of-7 from the field with four boards and two assists.
Whittier shot 32% from the field and a season low 11% from behind the arc. They did however outrebound the Bruins 40-39 but 27 turnovers proved costly, which led to 23 points for the Bruins.
Whittier remains on the road with a non-conference opponent in Hiram University today, Friday, December 22 beginning at 5:00pm on the campus of Chapman University.