Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team opened up 2018-19 Monday night on Veterans Day holding off a late charge from Linfield College to pull off the 58-50 victory inside of the Graham Athletic Center.
Whittier avenged their 67-63 loss from a year ago and move to 1-0 on the young season. Linfield, who was playing with small numbers, went 0-3 during their Southern California trip.
The Purple & Gold played 11 different players with four of them being newcomers. Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) led the offense with 15 points, four boards, two assists and six steals, while Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) inside posted a 10-point effort with five rebounds.
Sophomore transfer Laura Stroud (Ann Arbour, MI) chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds and senior transfer Zaria Branch (San Diego, Calif.) came off the bench playing 19 minutes with seven points and five boards. Point guard, Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) played 22 minutes and despite only having six points added five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Whittier shot 37% from the field and was 14.3% from three-point territory. It was a battle on the glass with WC losing the rebounding effort by one 37-36. They forced 25 Linfield turnovers and turned them into 18 points. They also won the battle in the paint 30-24.
After the first quarter, WC held a slight 14-12 advantage thanks to an 8-0 run, which included jumpers from Cubel, and Hanna and a triple from Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.). In the second period, the Poets picked it up on the defense end holding the Wildcats to single digits, while adding another 18 points and shooting 46% from the field. This gave the Poets a 32-21 lead at the break.
In the second half Linfield came out firing outscoring Whittier 16-15 in the third quarter to pull within ten at 47-37. In the fourth they shot 46% from the field and added nine boards to get within three at 51-48 and then again at 53-50 with 2:40 to play. But that's as close as they would get as five free throws down the stretch from White, Maglinte, and Stroud would secure the home victory for the Purple & Gold.
Whittier remains at home for their next two games, which will occur this weekend, Friday and Saturday, November 16-17. They begin with a match-up with Pacific (OR) on Friday before hosting Colorado College on Saturday.