REDLANDS, CA – The CMS Athenas rallied after a slow first half Saturday evening in Redlands, but ultimately it wasn't enough, as they dropped a nail-bitter to the Bulldogs, 61-60. The loss and Saturday's Cal Lutheran victory over Caltech drops the Athenas to fourth in SCIAC with two games to play in the regular season.
CMS shot just 27% from the floor in the first half and scored just four points in the final 11:28 of the first 20 minutes on their way to a 25-19 halftime deficit. Jodie Burton got her squad ready to fight in the second half, and a 7-0 run to start the second half set the stage for a nip-and-tuck finish.
Five ties and four lead changes highlighted the second half, but the Athenas came up just a bit short. After Junior forward Frannie Hemmelgarn made it a one-point game at 61-60 with 46 seconds left, a Kimberly Scamman steal set up a final chance for the Athenas with 27 seconds. Scamman missed her jumper and Jennifer Ringeon's follow just before the buzzer didn't drop either.
Madeline Barnes, coming off the bench, lead the Athenas in scoring with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Hemmelgarn picked up her conference-leading 10th double-double with 13 points and 11 boards. It was her third double digit effort in points and rebounds in the last three games.
Courtney Carroll lead the Bulldogs with 16 points, and Mariah Barbetti-Cort put together her 7th double-double, snagging a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with her 10 points.
Having lost both games to the Bulldogs and now two games back of Redlands, CMS, despite earning themselves a postseason game Thursday with their win over La Verne, has now also ensured their first-round game will be on the road.
When asked about her team's ability to bounce-back from such a tough loss, Burton explained, "we have no choice but to get over it. We have Pomona-Pitzer on Thursday and Oxy on Saturday. This teams fights, and we will continue to fight. We can fight and be in any game; we showed that we can play with any team in the conference."
CMS (14-9, 8-4 SCIAC) plays its final home game Thursday against their archrival Sagehens (4-19, 2-10 SCIAC) before putting that statement to the test, finishing a week from today on the road against the conference's top team, the Occidental Tigers (20-3, 11-1 SCIAC).