CMS Women's Basketball Turns Up the Defense to Knock Off Undefeated Emory 64-54

CMS Women's Basketball Turns Up the Defense to Knock Off Undefeated Emory 64-54

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team held 3-0 Emory to just 35.8 percent shooting, including 21.4 percent in the pivotal third quarter, as it captured a 64-54 home win on Friday night at Roberts Pavilion.

The Athenas move to 2-0 on the young season with the win, while Emory falls to 3-1 after suffering its first defeat. Emory finished 19-7 last season and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, while CMS was 24-3 and did not qualify, giving the Athenas a key early-season non-conference win that could serve as a future resume booster, if needed. 

CMS was led by senior forward Lindsey Cleary, who had 13 points on 6-7 shooting from the floor to pace four Athenas in double figures. Juniors Maezelle Millan, Kelly Keene and Kate Parrish all chipped in with 11 points apiece. 

The score was tied 29-29 at the half, when CMS came out of the locker room on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good. Millan started it off with a jumper in the paint, and Parrish pushed the lead to 33-29 with an offensive rebound and putback. Senior guard Lauren Longo then knocked down a three-pointer off an assist from Millan to give the Athenas their largest lead of the game at the time at 36-29.

Senior guard Gloria Bates extended the lead to 40-31 with a jumper with 5:43 left in the third, and Emory did not make it second field goal of the half until a Tori Huggins three-pointer made the score 40-36 with 3:28 on the clock. Bates came right back with a three-point play to make it a 43-36 game before the Eagles closed to within 45-40 heading into the fourth. 

Emory got as close as three points in the fourth quarter, but the two CMS bigs worked a clever play with Cleary scoring an uncontested layup on a cut off a pass from Parrish. Millan then had her first of her three fourth-quarter steals to set up a Longo three-pointer to make it a 50-42 lead with 7:12 showing on the clock. 

The Eagles got as close as four points again with 5:07 left at 52-48, but Millan came up with a clutch 15-foot jumper and Bates weaved through traffic in the paint for two to push the lead back up to eight. With the score 58-50, Millan had two straight steals at the 2:08 mark and the 1:06 mark to end two straight Emory possessions and effectively seal the win. 

CMS overcame a slow start, as it trailed 7-1 before Parrish made the first basket for the Athenas at the 5:22 mark of the first quarter. A Clearly lay-up tied the score at 9-9, before the Eagles took an 18-14 lead after the first 10 minutes. Emory shot 41.2 percent from the floor in the first quarter, but the Athenas held the Eagles to 33.3 shooting in the second, and 21.4 in the third as they assumed control of the game. 

CMS also held a 43-32 advantage on the boards, with Parrish pulling down nine (eight offensive), Cleary adding eight, and Bates had seven (all defensive). The Athenas also had only nine turnovers in the contest, with Millan tallying four assists and one turnover in 33 minutes at point guard, to go along with four steals. 

The Athenas will be back in action on Tuesday night when they take on Willamette for a 7 p.m. contest before the Thanksgiving holiday, and then come back after the holiday to co-host the annual David Wells Classic on Nov. 29-30.