Love Leads Athenas Over Regals in Dramatic Finish

photo credit: Alisha Alexander
photo credit: Alisha Alexander

CLAREMONT, Calif. – With just seconds on the clock and the Athenas trailing by one, Maya Love (CMC) battled her way through the lane and finished a layup to give Claremont-Mudd-Scripps a 52-51 victory over the visiting Cal Lutheran Regals. The layup from Love was a fitting way for the Athenas to get their game winner. The sophomore finished the night with 19 points and 16 rebounds in a thrilling victory for CMS.

Kailee Severt (CMC) also finished in double figures, dropping 10 points on the night.

It was a back and forth contest the whole way through with neither team leading by more than six points at any time during the game. A look at the box score will show an even game regardless of how you slice it. Field goals (19 CMS-18 Cal Lu), rebounds (39-40), and turnovers (13-14) were nearly identical, the only difference seemed to come from the three-point line where the Regals attempted 26 triples against just 10 from the Athenas. Both team made four in the contest with CMS shooting at a 40.0% clip against a 15.4% mark from the Regals.

Not only was the game close in the box score, but on the court as well. CMS and Cal Lutheran were tied at 13-13 at the end of the first quarter and were separated by just one point at the half, with the Regals holding a 24-23 advantage.

After the break, Maya Love connected on a layup and the Athenas took a 25-24 lead less than a minute into the half. Less than two minutes later, CMS held a 29-26 lead, following four-straight points from Kailee Severt. Cal Lutheran answered with four points of their own to take the lead back. The lead then flipped back and forth three times in the next minute.

After the dust settled, CMS held a 37-34 lead with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter. The Athenas eventually grew their lead to as many as five late in the quarter at 41-36 before holding a 41-40 lead heading to the fourth.

Just as they did in the third quarter, and throughout the entirety of the contest, the Athenas and Reglas jockeyed for the lead throughout the final period. With 4:59 remaining in regulation, the two sides stood even at 46-46 after a Cal Lutheran layup tied the game. Over the next 3:40 only one bucket was made for either side. The lone basket was a layup from Lindsey Cleary (CMC) after a Corinne Bogle (CMC) steal.

With the Athenas holding a 48-46 lead with 1:18 remaining, Jessi Westering connected on a three for the Regals to give the visitors a 49-48 advantage. Maya Love promptly made a layup to take the lead back for CMS at 50-49.

Things got a little dicey for the Athenas after the Regals' Kayla Watterson finished a tough layup, CMS missed a layup on the other end, and Cal Lutheran grabbed the defensive board. With 17 seconds remaining, the Regals had the lead (51-49), the ball, and the shot clock turned off.

The situation called for a full-court press and the pressure forced an errant pass by the Reglas. Severt was there to snatch up the free ball and CMS called a quick timeout with 9.8 seconds remaining.

Following the timeout, CMS got the ball into Ellery Koelker-Wolfe (CMC) on the left side. Koelker-Wolfe worked her way down to the block and dish off a pass to a driving Love. A power dribble and a left-handed finish by Love put the Athenas on top with under five seconds remaining.

In the final moments, a bad inbounds pass from the Regals was grabbed by Cleary and the Athenas held on for the dramatic 52-51 victory.

With the win the Athenas move to 12-1 in the SCIAC and run their win streak to seven games. CMS will next be in action on Thursday when they host Pomona-Pitzer at 7:00 p.m. in Roberts Pavilion.