Poets hold off Sagehens 60-57

Poets hold off Sagehens 60-57

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team ended their three-game losing streak Saturday afternoon inside of Voelkel Gymnasium holding off Pomona-Pitzer 60-57.

Whittier has swept the Sagehens on the season and have won by a combined seven points over the two games.  They now improve to 7-11, 4-5 SCIAC and currently sit 5th in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Standings. 

The Purple & Gold only had two players reach double figures, but had freshman Emily Guerena (Montebello, Calif.) go off for a career high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting with nine boards, two assists, and a steal.  She was joined by Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) who added 11 points, shooting 50% from the field with six boards and two blocks. 

Whittier jumped all over the Sagehens early and stayed in front capping off the first quarter with a 7-2 run, which included an and one from Emilee Dy (Chino Hills, Calif.) and a pair of layups from Guerena.

The second quarter was a low scoring affair with a combined 19 points being scored.  The Poets were able to hold the Sagehens to single digits in the frame with all nine of their points coming during a 9-0 run to open up the ten-minute period.  They took a lead at 21-16 but over the final five minutes, Whittier added 10 unanswered with six coming from Hanna giving the Purple & Gold a 26-21 lead at the break.

The largest lead of the game for the Poets came out of the break leading by seven as they went in front 28-21.  The Sagehens attempted to chip away at the lead cutting the margin down to two at 35-33 at the 3:11 mark but over the final 2:44, Whittier went on a 7-3 run with layups coming from Guerena and Teani White (Burbank, Calif.), while Dy added one of two free throws giving WC a 42-37 advantage.

The Sagehens rebounded nicely to begin the fourth tying the game up on multiple occasions eventually taking a lead at 52-51 after an Emma Godfrey layup with 3:28 to play.  They extended their lead following a triple from Tamura but the Poets responded in a big way as Daisy Cardenas (Santa Clarita, Calif.) countered with her own dagger from deep giving WC a 56-55 advantage.

PP came back with a layup on their next possession to again go back on top but again Cardenas came up huge for the Purple & Gold with another triple that put Whittier up 59-57 with :29 seconds to play.         

After a defensive stop White would find her way onto the charity stripe but would knock down one of two keeping the game a one-possession contest.  Keilani Ikehara would get off a three-point attempt as time expired looking for the equalizer but it wouldn't fall as the Poets would escape with the narrow victory.

Whittier shot 40% from the field and a mere 17% from behind the arc.  They outrebounded Pomona-Pitzer 38-31, had 18 second chance points, and added 36 points in the paint.       

Whittier returns home this Wednesday, January 24 as they take on Caltech beginning at 7:00pm.