Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team was minutes away from picking up their second biggest win in 2018 as they let a fourth quarter lead slip away to the Athenas of Claremont-M-S 62-51.
The Purple & Gold have now lost three straight and drop to 6-11, 3-5 SCIAC, while Claremont-M-S improves to 13-3, 6-1 SCIAC.
Claremont-M-S opened up a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter but saw the Purple & Gold begin chipping away with Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) and Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) adding a pair of free throws followed by jumpers from Daisy Cardenas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) and Emily Guerena (Montebello, Calif.) that moved the margin to five. Minutes later WC put together another small run of six unanswered with Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.) adding a pair of jumpers, while Emilee Dy (Chino Hills, Calif.) added a pair from the charity stripe. But over the final two minutes CMS was able to go on an 8-0 run to close out the period moving the margin back to nine.
Whittier battled in the second stanza holding the high powered CMS offense to a mere five points, while adding eleven of their own. The Poets shot 36% in the frame with Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) adding four and Hanna with three to go with five boards. A run of seven straight started the quarter for the Poets pulling them within two at 23-21. But later on three big points by the Athenas would put them back on top 28-25, giving them a lead they would hold into the break.
The defensive unit stood strong once again for the Poets holding CMS to single digits in the third. They forced six turnovers and picked up 14 points themselves over the ten minutes swinging the momentum and taking a lead 39-37 capped off with a corner pocket three pointer from Cardenas.
But in the fourth, the Athenas regrouped finding their offensive niche outscoring the Poets 25-12. Guerena got the scoring started in the frame but an ensuing 10-2 run by CMS over the next five minutes would prove costly as the score would move to 47-43 in favor of Claremont-M-S. Guerena stopped the run knocking down 1-2 free throws to cut the deficit to three and another with 3:59 to play but 13 free throws down the stretch for CMS would secure the road win.
White and Guerena each finished with 12 points apiece. White also had three steals in 33 minutes of action. Guerena hauled in nine boards and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. Hanna missed a double double with a seven point, eight rebound effort, and Maglinte registered eight points with four boards.
Whittier shot 33% from the field and 10% from behind the arc. They were outrebounded 34-31 but forced 17 turnovers and added 10 points in the paint.
Whittier hits the road this Saturday, January 20 to take on Pomona-Pitzer beginning at 4:00pm. The last time these two teams met was back on November 29 where the Poets pulled off the 69-65 victory.