TYLER, Texas – A 19-2 run by No. 5 Texas-Tyler (29-1) that spanned portions of the second and third quarters ended up being the deciding factor in UTT's 80-58 win over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team in the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships on March 5 at the Patriot Center. CMS' season comes to a close with a 23-6 record, its 12th 20-win season in program history and third in a row. Prior to last night's win over Trinity (Texas), the last NCAA Tournament win for CMS came in 1996 came against conference foe La Verne. The win over Trinity was the first NCAA Tournament win for CMS against a non-SCIAC opponent.
On Saturday, the run by Texas-Tyler that changed the course of the game came after a handful of CMS turnovers and second-chance points for UTT in the second quarter. Those miscues fueled an 11-2 run by Texas-Tyler to close out the first half as UTT moved ahead by nine points and went into halftime up 33-24. UTT turned CMS' 20 turnovers in the game into 24 points and also had an advantage in second chance points in the game with 21.
Halftime did not slow Texas-Tyler's momentum as it came out of the break on an 8-0 run over the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter. Two of the buckets came from D'Onna Matthews who scored 14 points on the night. Junior center Alyson Young (CMC) made a pair of free-throws to end the scoring drought and move CMS to a 15-point deficit at 41-26 with 7:37 left in the third quarter. The first field goal for CMS of the third quarter came from sophomore center Kailee Severt (CMC) three minutes into the quarter, but UTT still led 44-28. Severt poured in a team-high 19 points, 14 of which came in the second half. She had an 11-point third quarter and at one point in the quarter, scored nine-straight points for CMS.
UTT led by 19 points at 47-28 after Alex Kochner's three-pointer with 6:41 to go in the third quarter. CMS got the lead back down to 11 points at 59-48, one minute into the fourth quarter after a put-back by Young and that is as close as CMS would get the rest of the way. UTT put together a 7-0 and went ahead by 18.
The first 15 minutes of the game had a different result as CMS controlled things early. Junior guard Jai Dungca (CMC) nailed a three-pointer on the first possession of the game for CMS and CMS maintained its lead until there was 6:37 left in the second quarter. That's when Kochner connected on a three and evened the score up at 20. Michelle Obach's jumper gave UTT a 24-22 lead and started the decisive second quarter run.
Junior forward Kris Brackmann (CMC) scored 16 points and had five assists and four rebounds for CMS. Senior forward Mara Falahee (SCR) scored six points and had six rebounds in her final game as an Athena. CMS went 80-30 during her four seasons on the team. Young scored eight points off the bench.
Obach (21 points) led Texas-Tyler in scoring followed by Kochner (20).
By Chris Watts
Director of Athletics Communication
Claremont McKenna College
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