CLAREMONT, CA - CMS Women's Basketball allows the lowest points per game average (52.8) in the SCIAC and the second-lowest shooting percentage of 28.8, while forcing a conference-best 19.0 turnovers per game. Maya Love, Lindsey Cleary, and Head Coach Kristen Dowling spoke about how much pride they take in setting the tone defensively.
Love along with Gloria Bates have each earned Defensive Player of the Week honors during a season where the defensive prowess has vaulted the CMS Women's basketball team to the top of the SCIAC at 16-2 overall and 8-1 in the conference. It has been in large part due to the staunch defense that the Athenas have won 12 straight games and avenged one of their two losses against Chapman this past Saturday, 49-47.
The 47 points allowed marked the second-lowest point total the Athenas have held a SCIAC opponent to this season, only allowing six more points than the 41 they held Redlands to on the road on January 5. Since that time, opponents have only broken the 50-point mark three times (72-54 win vs. CLU, 80-71 win at La Verne, and 75-55 win at Whittier).
CMS Women's basketball has moved itself to the top spot in the conference by leading the SCIAC in a few ball-control categories including lowest points per game allowed (52.8), rebound margin (+12.2), and turnovers forced (19.0). The Athenas have permitted the second-lowest shooting percentage in the league behind Cal Lutheran (26.7%) with a 28.8 marking against.
Head Coach Kristen Dowling about the defense and Thursday's game against Pomona-Pitzer.
"We just believe that defense is 100% in our control. So defense and rebounding are the things we focus on because no matter what calls are made or how we are shooting, we can one-hundred percent control that. That's a huge credit to our young women, and we are getting better every day. We still have a long ways to go but we are getting better every day. Pomona-Pitzer has a great team, we're excited to be home and we're excited to play a great team..."
CMS Women's basketball hosts Sixth Street Rival Pomona-Pitzer in a battle for first place in the SCIAC at Roberts Pavilion on Thursday, January 24 at 7 p.m. Click below to see a video feature on the Athenas basketball team as they prepare to host the Sagehens.