Defense Leads CMS Women's Basketball to 68-48 Victory Over Caltech for Tenth Win in a Row

Defense Leads CMS Women's Basketball to 68-48 Victory Over Caltech for Tenth Win in a Row

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The CMS women's basketball team held Caltech to only six points in the third quarter as it broke the game open and captured a 68-48 win over the Beavers on Monday evening. 

The win was the tenth in a row for the Athenas, who improve to 14-2 overall and 6-1 in the SCIAC, keeping pace with Pomona-Pitzer (7-1) for first place in the loss column in the league standings. Caltech falls to 5-10 overall and 0-7 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

Senior guard Teeana Cotangco (pictured) led the way for the Athenas offensively with 11 points on the day, while junior guard Maya Love had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. CMS came into the day leading the SCIAC by a huge margin in team defense (53.3 ppg allowed) and improved on that mark by holding Caltech to only 48 points on 34.7 percent shooting. 

The Beavers kept it close through the first quarter, coming within 14-12 late in the first frame before junior guard Gloria Bates scored to make it 16-12 heading into the second. CMS then asserted itself in the second quarter, building its lead up to as many as 17 points before setting for a 12-point lead (38-26) at intermission.

The Athena bench fueled the start of the run with Bates and sophomore forward Kate Parrish each contributing two baskets to make it a 24-15 lead.  After two Caltech foul shots made it a seven-point game, CMS used a 10-0 run to take its largest lead of the half at 34-17 on a jumper from junior guard Lauren Longo. Cotangco hit two three-pointers during the 10-0 run as well to account for more than half of the CMS points during the spurt. 

CMS then turned up its defense to another level after halftime, using another 10-0 run after a Caltech three-pointer to build its lead up to 52-30 on a Longo three-pointer with 4:05 left in the third. After the Beavers stopped the run with a jumper, sophomore Kelly Keene answered to make it 54-32 in the Athenas' favor heading into the fourth. 

The Athenas played their bench in the final quarter and the Beavers got as close as 15 points three times, but freshman Jane Baldwin hit a lay-up to push it back to 17 the first time, and freshman Elizabeth Howell-Egan hit two free throws to stretch it to 63-46. After the Beavers made it 63-48, sophomore guard Katelynn Nguyen scored, and Howell-Egan capped off the scoring with a three-pointer to make the final margin 20 points. 

All 17 players saw action for CMS, with Love (22 minutes) the only player reaching the 20-minute mark. Caltech's Nika Halefritas led all scorers with 17 points, including five three-pointers. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Whittier for a 7 p.m. contest, looking to stretch their winning streak to 11 games.