Furious Fourth-Quarter Rally Leads CMS Women's Basketball to Comeback Win at Pacific

Furious Fourth-Quarter Rally Leads CMS Women's Basketball to Comeback Win at Pacific

FOREST GROVE, Ore. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team went on a clutch 16-0 run after trailing by eight midway through the fourth quarter to surge ahead and capture a 54-48 road win over Pacific (Ore.), concluding a three-game road trip to Oregon on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 record.

CMS improves to 2-1 on the season after splitting two games at its season-opening tournament on Friday and Saturday at the George Fox Bruin Classic, defeating Willamette 58-56 on Friday and falling to George Fox on Saturday. The Athenas were also playing the Pacific game without leading scorer Maya Love, who didn't dress after scoring 28 points in the two games at the Bruin Classic. 

CMS trailed by eight (46-38) with 7:13 to go, but did not allow another point until a meaningless lay-up at the buzzer.  Junior forward Gloria Bates (pictured) fueled the comeback, knocking down a pair of foul shots, blocking a shot at the other end, and scoring on a lay-up to make it a 46-42 game with 6:00 to play. She then grabbed a defensive rebound before making one of two foul shots, and after junior forward Lindsey Cleary made two foul shots, Bates hit a short jumper to put CMS ahead to stay 47-46 with 3:04 to go. 

Bates then grabbed a defensive rebound off a missed Pacific three-pointer, and Ellery Koelker-Wolfe made two foul shots to stretch the lead to three. Koelker-Wolfe added a big steal, and Clearly made one of two at the line, grabbed a defensive rebound, and made two more foul shots to make it a 52-46 lead with 37 seconds left. Pacific almost went the final 7:13 without a point, but scored on a Liana Tanaka lay-up as time expired with the Athenas conceding the basket with victory in hand. 

CMS took a 29-23 lead into halftime, as junior guard Lauren Longo buried a long three-pointer for the final possession of the opening stanza, her second three-pointer of the half. The momentum didn't carry over, though, as Pacific started the second half on a 12-0 run to take a 35-29 lead. The run finally ended when sophomore guard Kelly Keene hit a running jumper in the paint, but the Boxers were able to maintain their lead the rest of the third, holding a 42-35 lead heading into the final period. 

Bates finished with 12 points on 4-8 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, including nine points and seven rebounds in the second half, while Cleary was also in double figures with 10 points. The CMS defense held Pacific to 34.0 percent shooting for the game, including just 2-13 in the pivotal fourth quarter (1-12 before the uncontested lay-up at the end). 

CMS will be back in action this weekend at the David Wells Classic, facing Dallas on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Pomona-Pitzer and then hosting The College of New Jersey on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Roberts Pavilion for its home opener.