20-20 Vision! CMS Rolls Past Redlands 72-49 For 20th Straight Win in SCIAC Semis, Eyes Title Game Saturday

20-20 Vision! CMS Rolls Past Redlands 72-49 For 20th Straight Win in SCIAC Semis, Eyes Title Game Saturday

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team had a 30-2 edge in bench points as it used its depth and its defense to capture a 72-49 win over Redlands in the semifinals of the 2019 SCIAC Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday night at Roberts Pavilion.

The win was the 20th in a row for the Athenas, who tie the program record for wins in a season with their 24th of the year, improving to 24-2 overall as they advance to Saturday's championship game against Pomona-Pitzer (5 p.m., Roberts Pavilion). The Bulldogs conclude their season at 11-15 with the loss.  

CMS, which came in ranked No. 1 in the SCIAC in scoring defense, held Redlands to 49 points, the 11th game in a row that it has allowed 55 points or less. Junior guard Maya Love led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Athenas, almost getting a double-double in the first half alone with 10 points and nine rebounds. 

Redlands hung close through the first quarter, trailing just 17-13 after the first 10 minutes, but the CMS depth showed through in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 23-7 to take a commanding 40-20 lead into the break. Sophomore forward Kate Parrish had 10 points off the bench in the first half, and junior guard Lauren Longo added six. 

"The people who come in and contribute (off the bench) have been incredible," said senior guard Corinne Bogle. "That's why we're such a deep team and I think it's really hard to scout us. Even one through 17, with our freshmen and their energy throughout every single game and every single practice, they are absolutely integral to this team as well."

The key stretch in the second quarter was an 11-0 run that turned a narrow 22-16 lead into a commanding 33-16 advantage. Parrish scored the first eight points during the run, and Longo buried a three-pointer to cap it off with 3:50 left in the half.

After Cassandra Lacey banked in a tough shot for Redlands, the Athenas added seven more points in a row, this time with senior starters Teeana Cotango (jumper), Ellery Koelker-Wolfe (jumper) and Corrine Bogle (three-pointer) providing the points during the run, giving CMS its largest lead of the opening half at 40-18.

A Redlands basket made it 40-20 at the break, as CMS doubled up its opponent in a first half where they were almost perfect taking care of the basketball. The Athenas had only one turnover in the whole opening 20 minutes, and that came when Longo hustled for a steal in the Redlands backcourt, but traveled before she could get the ball to a teammate, resulting in essentially a wash. CMS also had only one turnover in the third quarter, before finishing the game with seven, with the starters combing for 10 assists and no turnovers on the day. 

The Bulldogs did battle in the second half, outscoring CMS 17-13 in the third quarter to pull within 53-37 at the end of the third.  Bogle, though, started the fourth quarter with a three-pointer and Love followed with two foul shots to get the lead back up over 20 and Redlands was unable to threaten down the stretch. A three-pointer from sophomore guard Kelly Keene and a lay-up from Bogle gave the Athenas their largest lead of the game at 65-39 with 6:25 to play. 

After narrowly missing the SCIAC title in double overtime last year in a loss to Chapman, Bogle said that the program has been waiting patiently for this postseason to come around. 

"We play so many games, 16 regular season games in SCIAC, and it's all working up to this point right here," she said Bogle. "As coach always says, this is about surviving and advancing, so it doesn't really matter that we have a really nice win streak, or that we've beaten a lot of teams, because you can go home on either of these nights. So we really wanted to make sure that we got another practice."

That practice will be tomorrow to get ready for the SCIAC Championship on Saturday against Sixth Street rival Pomona-Pitzer, which will take place at 5 p.m. at Roberts Pavilion.

"In my five years, this is the first time that we've played Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC," Bogle said, "so this is really exciting. They're a great team, and we're just looking to get after them again. It's going to be really competitive."