Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team ended their 2018-19 season in impressive fashion Saturday night beating a good UC Santa Cruz program 60-51 inside of the Graham Athletic Center.
Prior to the game Whittier recognized their three seniors, all transfers who were taking part in their final regular season game of their collegiate career. They included Zaria Branch (San Diego, Calif.), Mia Maglinte (Roseville, Calif.), and Monica Hanna (Bellflower, Calif.).
The Purple & Gold end their season winning two of their last three, while posting an 11-13, 7-9 SCIAC record.
The Poets started the game off hot going on top 10-2 over the opening five minutes, which included back to back lay-ups from Hanna and Branch, capped off with a Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) lay-in. The Banana Slugs managed to get within five at 15-10 with 3:33 to play in the period but over the final two minutes Whittier would outscore UCSC 5-3 to lead 20-13.
In the second quarter the Banana Slugs found their footing starting the period off on a 14-2 run, which spanned 7:32 giving them their largest lead of the half at 27-22. But that advantage soon diminished as Whittier would close out the half on a 6-0 run, capped off by a Branch jumper with :19 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Out of the break UCSC got right back to it adding the first nine points of the quarter, giving them their largest lead of the game at 36-28. But after that Whittier would put together their own run, this time eight in a row, covering 2:49, which included a free throw from Kellie Ogata (Torrance, Calif.) that tied things up at 36-36. In the fourth, Whittier pulled away outscoring the Banana Slugs 24-15. They started the quarter off on a 14-2 run, which included a White jumper from the end line, which gave WC a lead at 50-38. Their largest lead came at the 3:29 mark thanks to a Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) jumper that made the score 55-41 and that would do it as UCSC would get as close as six down the stretch, which wouldn't be enough to complete the comeback.
The Poets shot 35.6% (21-59) from the field, 26.7% (4-15) from the three-point line and 53.8% (14-26) from the foul line. The Banana Slugs shot 29.1% (16-55) from the field, 16.1% (5-31) from the three-point line and were 66.7% (14-21) from the free throw line. The Poets' defense forced twenty-six turnovers by UC Santa Cruz scoring twenty-four points off of them. Whittier was outrebounded 45-36 but won the battle in the paint 24-16.
Cubel finished with a team high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. White added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go with five boards, two assists, and five steals and Branch and Maglinte each chipped in with six points apiece. Maglinte also had four boards, two assists and four steals. Laura Stroud (Ann Arbor, MI) came off the bench and finished with four points but was tough inside grabbing eight rebounds. Shaeleigh Wright (Long Beach, Calif.) also had a solid game with a four-point effort and six boards.