Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LA VERNE, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Basketball team opened up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play Wednesday night against the University of La Verne but failed to hold a 15-point lead at the start of the 4th quarter as they fell 78-72.
The Purple & Gold led by as many as 20 late in the 2nd Quarter, and had Teani White (Burbank, Calif.) and Cali Cubel (Oceanside, Calif.) in double figures. But it wouldn't be enough to top the Leopards who outscored the Poets 29-8 over the final 10:00 minutes, which proved the difference in the come from behind victory.
It was a great start for the Poets who outscored the Leopards 18-6 in the opening frame behind a 47% shooting effort led by White who added seven points, three rebounds, an assist and a pair of steals. Allison Lou (Cerritos, Calif.) also was tough off the bench adding six of her eight points on the game.
They extended their lead to 18 at the break following a 22-point effort in the 2nd Quarter, but this advantage wouldn't hold as they would get outscored 56-32 in the second half. La Verne used a 25-0 run to start off the 4th Quarter taking their first lead of the game at the 5:13 mark following a pair of free throws from Destinee Garcia. The lead for ULV moved to ten at 74-64 with 1:57 left and despite Shaeleigh Wright (Long Beach, Calif.) converting a three-point play, White adding a lay-up and Cubel knocking down a three-pointer as time expired it wouldn't be enough to top the Leos in the SCIAC opener.
Whittier shot a season high 51% from the field and 36.4% from behind the three-point line. They also held the edge in the paint outscoring the Leos 42-22, while earning 17 points off turnovers. La Verne though was big on the glass outrebounding the Poets 53-32, while picking up 22 points off turnovers.
White finished with a solid performance with 19 points, six boards, an assist and two steals. Cubel joined her with 18 points, four rebounds, three dimes and two picks. It was a solid game for the Whittier bench outscoring ULV 24-11, led by freshman Dallas Martinez (Kaneohe, HI) and sophomore Lou who each added eight points apiece. Martinez also had three rebounds and an assist.
Whittier returns to the court tomorrow, Friday, November 22 when they host UC Santa Cruz with game time set for 7:00pm.