Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team opened up the Holiday Inn La Mirada Purple & Gold Poet Classic Friday failing to hold 14-point lead against Brooklyn College as they fell 67-61 inside of the Graham Athletic Center.
Whittier has now dropped three in a row and move to 5-4, 2-1 SCIAC, while Brooklyn improves to .500 at 4-4. The Bulldogs who were an NCAA Tournament team a year ago had their hands full with the Purple & Gold and sophomore Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) who had a season high 20 points with eight boards, two assists and six steals.
Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.) also had a breakout game inside going 7-for-11 from the field for 17 points and five rebounds.
The second and fourth quarters proved costly for the Poets getting outscored 39-18 over the two periods. Whittier jumped all over the Bulldogs early in the first quarter shooting 46% as a team and holding a 14-point lead thanks to a 19-3 run, which included two and ones from White and Hanna.
The Poets had the momentum going into the second quarter and led by 11 at one point but couldn't hold it as Brooklyn College rallied with a 14-2 run that gave them a 32-30 lead at intermission. Out of the break, Whittier jumped back on top outscoring the Bulldogs 20-14, while shooting 58% from the field and 83% from the charity stripe. White provided the spark with nine points over the ten minutes.
Leading 50-46 after three quarters of play, Whittier kept a slight margin at 55-47 over the first four minutes of the fourth. But with 6:39 remaining in the game Brooklyn rallied once again this time with a 12-4 spurt that knotted the game up 59-59. At the 2:00 mark, Brooklyn College grabbed their second lead following a pair of free throws from Taylor George but that was short-lived as Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) would answer with two of her own free throws on the Poets' next possession that again tied things up at 61-61.
After another two free throws for BC a turnover by Cubel with :47 seconds to play proved costly as Brooklyn would go on to add a lay-in as time expired on the shot clock that moved the advantage to four. The next time down the floor, Laura Stroud (Ann Arbor, MI) had an open look for a triple to cut the deficit to one but couldn't convert as the Bulldogs would tack on another two free throws that secured the win.
Whittier shot 33% from the field and 14% from three-point territory. They were outrebounded 38-33 but turned the ball over just 15 times. They earned 26 points in the paint and forced 23 Brooklyn turnovers that led to 33 points.
Whittier wraps up the Holiday Inn La Mirada Purple & Gold Poet Classic today, Saturday, December 29 when they host Illinois Wesleyan beginning at 5:00pm.