TYLER, Texas – For the first time since 1996, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships, after its opening round, 63-57 win over Trinity (Texas) on March 4 at Texas-Tyler's Patriot Center. The win puts CMS in a second round match-up on Saturday, March at 5 p.m. (CST) against No. 6 Texas-Tyler (28-1) who defeated UC Santa Cruz (15-12) in the nightcap of the doubleheader in Tyler. Once again, for the second round, live stats and video is offered. The NCAA Tournament win for CMS in 1996 came against conference foe La Verne.
The previous two seasons, CMS (23-5) came up short in the first round on the road, but CMS reversed that trend on Friday night against Trinity (22-6).Composure, toughness and its NCAA Tournament experience showed through for CMS as it had to overcome a six-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Trinity.
Monica Holguin's basket with 8:28 remaining gave Trinity a 44-38, its largest lead of the game which they held on a few different occasions. The lead didn't last long though as junior forward Kris Brackmann (CMC) and senior forward Mara Falahee (SCR) connected on back-to-back three-pointers on the next two possessions for CMS to knot the game up at 44 with 7:39 to go. Trinity jumped back ahead by four points and did not trail again until 4:39 left in the game when sophomore center Kailee Severt (CMC) hit a step-back three-pointer to move CMS out in front 51-48.
Trinity still had life after a pair of free throws from Allison Staley made it a one-score game at 58-55 and 39 seconds left in regulation. Brackmann put the win away for CMS on the ensuing possession with another triple and just 12 seconds remaining. Brackmann had a game-high 15 points for CMS.
Cold shooting started the game for both teams as CMS held an 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Trinity shot 20 percent from the field and CMS shot 33 percent in the first quarter. CMS led by as many as five points in the second quarter. Trinity's Caitlin Barrett came up with a four-point play just before halftime and CMS went into the break, up 24-23 after Barrett's basket and free throw.
In the second half, Trinity went on a 9-2 run to start the third quarter as it moved ahead 32-27. Trinity was ahead or tied with CMS until Severt's three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter.
Falahee and Severt also scored in double-figures for CMS at 12 and 11 points, respectively. Falahee made 2-of-4 from the three-point line and was all over the boards with 10. Junior center Claire Donnelly (CMC) finished with nine rebounds and eight points. Three players scored 10 points each to pace the Trinity offensive attack. CMS outrebounded Trinity 48-32 and had 13 second-chance points.
There were 10 ties and six lead changes in the game.
By Chris Watts
Director of Athletics Communication
Claremont McKenna College
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