Panthers Halt Athenas' Win Streak at Nine Games

Panthers Halt Athenas' Win Streak at Nine Games

ORANGE, Calif. - In a battle between the only two remaining undefeated teams in the SCIAC, the Chapman Panthers used a strong second-half to top the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team 68-56 on Saturday evening. The loss is the first for the Athenas since Nov. 29 and snaps a nine-game winning streak.

After a slow opening quarter, the Athenas took a 27-22 lead heading into the half, but Chapman outscored CMS 46-29 after the break to halt the Athenas' win streak just shy of double-digits.

The game opened at a snail's pace with the two teams combining for only five points across the first 7:53 of the contest. A 6-2 Chapman run over the final two minutes of the quarter was enough to give the Panthers' an 8-5 lead after 10 minutes of play.

Kate Parrish (CMC) nearly matched CMS' first quarter offensive output with a pair of layups in the first two minutes of the second period. The buckets were part of a 10-5 run for the Athenas that tied the score at 15-15 just over three minutes into the second quarter.

An and-one play from Lindsey Cleary (CMC) and a jumper from Maya Love (CMC) helped extend the CMS run to 14-5 and the Athenas took a 19-5 lead. CMS stayed in control of the game through the half and held a 27-22 lead at the break.

Kailee Severt (CMC) scored the first points of the second-half by knocking down a jumper to extend the Athenas' lead to 29-22, but that was the last two-point field goal that CMS would score in the game. The Athenas struggled offensively in the second-half and went 5-33 from the field (15.2%) in the final 20 minutes.

Despite their struggles from the field, CMS did get to the line 21 times in the second-half and made 15 free throws (71.4%) to stay within striking range of the Panthers. Four second-half three-pointers also helped the cause with Teeana Cotangco (CMC) making three and Severt connecting on one.

Chapman opened up a seven-point lead at the end of the third quarter and eventually took a 13-point lead at 52-39 with 6:32 remaining in the game. The Athenas clawed their way to within six points at 55-49 with under three minutes left in the game. Teeana Cotangco made a pair of threes in a 40 second stretch to help spark the CMS comeback, but it was not enough. The Panthers made their free throws down the stretch to hold on for the 68-56 victory.

The loss is the first SCIAC blemish on the Athenas' record this season, moving them to 5-1 on the year and 12-3 overall. CMS will next take the court on Wednesday when they travel to Whittier to take on the Poets at 7:00 p.m.