Athenas Battle Back, Grind Out Win Over Tigers

photo credit: Alisha Alexander
photo credit: Alisha Alexander

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team trailed for a majority of the first-half against Occidental on Saturday night, but came from behind to grind out a 67-55 victory. Gloria Bates (CMC) turned in a career-high 18 points off the bench to help lead the Athenas to their 11th SCIAC victory of the season.

Maya Love (CMC) collected her 10th double-double of the season. She finished Saturday's game with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Corinne Bogle (CMC) joined Love and Bates in double-figures, tallying 10 points on the night.

Saturday night's game started with a very level opening quarter between the Athenas and Tigers. At the end of the opening period the Athenas held a slim 13-10 lead thanks to a 6-9 effort from the field (66.7%). Despite that strong shooting effort in the opening 10 minutes, the lead was just three points due to six CMS turnovers in the quarter.

The trend continued into the second period where the Athenas shot the ball exceptionally well, but struggled to maintain possession. In the second quarter, CMS went 6-10 from the field but turned the ball over 10 times resulting in more opportunities for the Tigers. Occidental made good on their chances and opened up a 30-26 lead at halftime.

CMS settled down after the break and committed just four turnovers in the second-half.

By maintaining possession the Athenas were able to come back and just four minutes into the third quarter CMS tied the game at 36-36 after a pair of free throws from Bates. After a defensive stop, Bates connected on a layup and the Athenas took the lead back at 38-36.

The four points from Bates were part of a 10-1 CMS run that eventually gave the Athenas a 40-37 lead. CMS continued the run and eventually grew the lead to six at 46-40 with under two minutes left in the period.

A jumper and a free throw from Occidental ended the quarter and CMS held a 46-43 lead heading to the final period.

The brief Occidental run continued into the fourth quarter with the first four points of the period going to the Tigers. The 7-0 run took the lead back from the Athenas and gave Occidental a 47-46 advantage.

Just a few minutes later, Occidental held a 53-50 lead with 5:26 remaining in the contest. Bates started a run for the Athenas, nailing a jumper to start a 7-0 CMS spurt. While Bates started the run, Teeana Cotangco (CMC) brought the excitement during the 62-second burst. First, Cotangco beat her defender with her left hand and finished a layup to give CMS a one-point lead. Then moments later, Cotangco knocked down a huge three from the right wing that gave the Athenas a 57-53 advantage.

The Tigers would pull within two thanks to a layup from Shariah Green with 3:36 remaining in the game, but CMS would not allow another point for the remainder of the contest. The Athenas closed out the game on a 10-0 run to claim their 11th SCIAC victory of the season with a 67-55 win.

The Athenas move to 18-3 overall this season and improve to 11-1 in the SCIAC. CMS will next take the court on Monday when they host Cal Lutheran in Roberts Pavilion at 7:00 p.m.