Bench, defense guide CMS by Chapman in SCIAC-opener

Mara Falahee (Photo by John Valenzuela)
Mara Falahee (Photo by John Valenzuela)

ORANGE, Calif. – Just as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team ended its conference season last season with a win, the 2015-16 SCIAC season began with a win as well for CMS, a 58-52 comeback road victory over Chapman on Dec. 9 at the Hutton Center. CMS' winning streak against conference opponents is now 28 games and spans portions of three seasons. CMS last lost a conference game on Jan. 30, 2014 at Chapman.

On Wednesday in the SCIAC opener for both teams, CMS (5-2, 1-0 SCIAC) trailed by five points heading into the fourth quarter. CMS then outscored Chapman (1-4, 0-1 SCIAC) 26-15 in the final period to earn the win and end their mini two-game non-conference skid.

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter against Chapman, CMS faced its largest deficit of the game – seven points – after a basket by Natalia Ebrahimian gave Chapman a 39-32 advantage with 9:25 left in the game. Five-straight points from the free-throw line put CMS within a basket at 39-37. CMS senior forward Mara Falahee (SCR) tied the game at 39-39 with 6:46 remaining, but Chapman jumped back in the lead with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession.

The next five minutes of action saw seven lead changes and CMS didn't lead for good until junior guard Jai Dungca (CMC) drained a three-pointer to give CMS a 55-52 advantage with 24 seconds left. Falahee sealed the win for CMS with a pair of free throws. Dungca's three was the only make from beyond the arc for CMS during the game.

Falahee led CMS in the fourth quarter with eight of her 16 points, while junior center Alyson Young (CMC) added seven of her team-high 19 points in the quarter. Young also tied sophomore center Kailee Severt (CMC) with seven rebounds.

CMS led 12-10 after the first quarter, but in the second quarter, Chapman outscored CMS 12-10 which sent the game into halftime even at 22.

CMS pulled out the win despite a cold shooting night by limiting Chapman to 33 percent shooting and outrebounding Chapman 46-33. CMS' bench outscored Chapman's bench 23-9.

Next up for CMS is a crucial West Region home game against nationally-ranked, No. 3 George Fox on Dec. 12. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at the Linde Activities Center.

Box Score

By Chris Watts
Director of Athletics Communication
Claremont McKenna College

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