Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – For the second straight game the Whittier College Women's Basketball team has hit a buzzer-beater to beat their opponent. Monday night, Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) knocked down the game-winning shot as the Poets came away with the 74-72 victory over Occidental College on the road.
The victory vaults the Poets into a 4th place tie with a 4-3 SCIAC record. Only the top four SCIAC teams make the post season tournament. This past Saturday Zaria Branch (San Diego, Calif.) went the length of the floor for a game-winning three as time expired for the Whittier win at home. Last night on the road at Occidental College, Oxy's Taylor Yoshida made 1 of 2 free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining to place the Tigers in front by a point. The Poets used their last time-out to advance the ball to the frontcourt. Execution was to perfection with Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) inbounding the ball to Cubel with enough space to get a great look at the shot. The result was yet another cardiac victory for the Poets.
Five Poets hit double figures in the win, with four coming from the starting lineup. Balanced scoring was the name of the game for the Poets with contributions coming throughout the game. Cubel finished with 14 points and White, Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.), and Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) would each add 12 points apiece. White also registered seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Maglinte also picked up four rebounds and six assists. Branch was the last Poet in double figures finishing with 10 points.
Taylor Yoshida sparked the comeback for Oxy scoring seven unanswered in the third quarter, which led to an 18-4 run by the Tigers that pulled them within six. In the fourth, Whittier was faced with a full court press that led to some turnovers and fastbreak opportunities for Oxy that kept them in the contest. With 2:27 to play, Hanna added a jumper that made the score 67-62 but Oxy's Mallory North would respond knocking down a triple that made it a one possession game. Whittier coughed the ball up on their next possession and then fouled Yoshida sending her to the line. She would make one of two that kept WC in front 67-66.
Cubel was able to convert a layin inside at the 1:47 mark that stretched the margin to three but again Oxy was able to counter this time stringing together five straight with a jumper from Alyssa Ramlochan, and a three-point play from Emily Leonard that put the Tigers on top 71-69. Branch, who hit the game-winner on Saturday against Caltech came up big on Whittier's next series with two free-throws with :28 seconds remaining that tied the game at 71-71. After an Oxy timeout, Yoshida took the ball to the rack and picked up a foul sending her to the line for two. She again went 1-for-2 that put Oxy on top. Head Coach Roy Dow called a timeout after the made free throw, which transitioned the ball to half-court. Whittier was able to play it in quickly finding Cubel wide open in the corner. She put it up and saw it rim in off the backboard, sending the Poets to the road victory.
Whittier shot 43.3% from the field and 38.9% from three-point territory. They were outrebounded 34-31 but turned the ball over just 11 times, while winning the battle in the paint 38-28.
Next up is SCIAC leader Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a 10-game win streak as the Poets close-out the first part of the SCIAC round robin schedule. Game time is 7 pm Wednesday night at the GAC on the Whittier College Campus.