Athenas to rely on experience heading into fourth straight SCIAC Tournament

Athenas to rely on experience heading into fourth straight SCIAC Tournament

CLAREMONT, Calif. – After defeating Chapman in the final game of the regular season, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team is in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Postseason Tournament with the No. 1 seed and has secured home court advantage for the semifinal. The Athenas will open up their postseason campaign against Redlands on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

CMS owns a 17-8 record, going 13-3 in conference as it heads into the tournament. The Athenas finished the regular season as co-champions of the SCIAC alongside Chapman, but took the first seed via tiebreaker. They will be looking to win their fourth consecutive SCIAC Tournament and enter the NCAA Tournament through automatic qualification.

Parking for the game is available on N. Mills Ave or in the Biszantz Family Tennis Center parking lot on Sixth St. for visiting team and spectators. General admission is $10 while senior (Ages 55 and older) and veteran admissions are $5. Admission is free for students and children ages 12 and under. No food or drink will be allowed into Roberts Pavilion. Fans are advised to use good sportsmanship. Use of profanity and belligerent behavior will not be tolerated.

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Last season the Athenas cruised through the SCIAC Tournament after a dominant regular season in which they went 15-1 in conference play. CMS crushed Redlands 70-47 in the semifinal before dominating Cal Lutheran 75-48 in the final to win a trip to the NCAA tournament. The current seniors on the roster have plenty of experience under their belt, having helped win the last three SCIAC tournaments, and will be counted on to take their program to the top for one last hurrah.

Senior Kris Brackmann (CMC) has been the key playmaker for the Athenas on both ends of the floor. The forward leads the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game and has proven capable of scoring in the paint and the perimeter. She also is the team's steals leader and has been flexible in defending opposing guards and post players. Senior Claire Donnelly (CMC) is one of the best interior defenders in the SCIAC, ranking second in blocks (32) and averaging 6.4 rebounds per game. The Athenas have seen a surge of production from senior Quinn Glosniak (CMC) the last four games. Primarily a workhorse defender and glue player, Glosniak has increased her rebounding and scoring output, including double-doubles in two of the last three games of the season.  

Junior Kailee Severt (CMC) will be counted on to space the floor with her accurate shooting, averaging 9.4 points per game. Off the bench, senior Aly Young (CMC) is a change of pace post player who is more than adept at exploiting mismatches and getting her share of points off the bench, and freshman Maya Love (CMC) has provided sparks of energy by grabbing offensive rebounds and making plays on the defensive end.

The Athenas have split the series against Redlands during the regular season, winning their first match 59-43 back on Jan. 4 before falling 64-63 at home on Feb. 4. The Bulldogs boast two players who average double-digits in scoring in Jade Cheldelin and Reyna Ta'amu. Cheldelin is averaging 14.6 points per game and has given opposing defenses trouble with her midrange game and ability to attack the basket. Ta'amu has provided a pair of steady hands in the post, securing 4.6 offensive boards per game and scoring 13.1 points per game.

At the other end of the bracket, Chapman will be hosting Cal Lutheran. The Panthers boast a strong fast-paced offense, featuring four guards who average in double-digits in scoring (Megan Charles, Lauren Sato, Jamie Hum-Nishikado, and Jaryn Fajardo). Forcing turnovers play a key role in sparking Chapman's offense as the Panthers lead the SCIAC with 11.6 steals per game. Cal Lutheran relies heavily on spacing the floor and moving the ball to spur its offense, with three players who can be considered a perimeter threat. Jessica Salottolo leads the Regals with 14.0 points per game and is accompanied by Tatiana Dunlap and Janelle Porter to open up the floor.   

By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant

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