LOS ANGELES, Calif. - CMS Women's Basketball defeated Occidental 80-55 on the road to earn a share of the SCIAC regular season title for the sixth consecutive season and its 18th consecutive victory. With the victory, the Athenas clinch the top seed in the SCIAC heading into the conference tournament and will host their first-round opponent beginning on Feb. 21.
Should CMS advance to the championship game, it would be the host site. Three Athenas scored in double-figures to lift CMS past Occidental and earn a share of the SCIAC regular season title for the sixth consecutive season. The Athenas move to 22-2 overall and 14-1 in the SCIAC.
Occidental was searching for answers as it called a 30-second timeout. Out of the timeout, the Tigers broke the Athenas run with a bucket by Taylor Yoshida. Gloria Bates hit a two-pointer and Kate Parrish made a pair of free throws to stretch the advantage to 15-5, followed quickly by a layup from Bates putting the lead at 17-5 at the 3:13 mark of the first quarter.
From that mark to the end of the opening quarter, the Tigers outscored the Athenas 10-5 but CMS went into the first break with a 22-15 lead. Bogle had five points, Love tacked on four, and Bates had four off the bench in the opening frame. The CMS defense held Occidental to six made shots in the first quarter.
The second quarter opened with the Athenas going on the attack, a three-ball from Teeana Cotangco stretched the advantage to 25-16 and just over a minute later Bogle sank a jumper to stretch the edge to 27-16. Over the next three minutes, the Athenas held the Tigers scoreless stretching their advantage to 35-16 as a 10-0 run featured points from Love (2 points), Cleary (4 points), Bogle (4 points).
Madison Toy ended the run by CMS with a three-pointer at the 4:45 mark of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 35-19.
Overall, the Athenas finished the second quarter on 17-8 run to stretch the advantage to 47-24 at the half. CMS held Occidental to 36.0 (9-25) percent from the field in the first half. Limiting the Tigers to nine points in the second stanza, on just three made shots (11 attempts, 27.3%).
CMS, on the other hand, shot 47.4 percent (17-30) in the first half and lit up the scoreboard with a 72.7 (8-11) percent performance in the second frame, including a 3-4 performance from three-point range. The Athenas were extremely efficient in the second quarter and out-rebounded Occidental 9-1.
The third and fourth quarters were much more closely played between the Tigers and Athenas on this night, but CMS led by as much as 32 points with 7:04 left in the fourth quarter and walked away with a 25-point victory. The Athenas shot 50.0 percent (31-62) for the night including 8-15 (53.3%) from three-point land and finished 10-14 (71.4%) from the free throw line.
Love paced the Athenas with 15 points on 6-9 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line. Bogle had a nice night shooting 5-7 from the field 1-2 from beyond the arc and finishing with 11 points, and Cleary was joined by Bates with 10 points each to put four Athenas in double-digit scoring on the night.
Cotangco and Parrish added eight points as 11 different Athenas scored. Bates also finished tied with Love for the team-lead with four assists.
Yoshida led the way for Occidental with 17 points on 7-12 from the field, she was joined by Toy in double figures with 11 points, and Kaleinani Nallira with 10 points as the Tigers finished 41.2 percent from the field while committing 15 turnovers. CMS won the rebound battle by a large margin of 44-17 and rolled to its 18th straight victory.
The Athenas are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Cal Lutheran. The tip is scheduled for 5 p.m. with the Stags basketball team to follow at 7 p.m. from Thousand Oaks.