Forward Thinking! Parrish (27), Cleary (23), Durgerian (16) Have Career Highs as Athenas Score School-Record 104 Points

Kate Parrish had career-bests of 27 points and 22 rebounds in only 22 minutes of playing time (photo by Daniel Addison)
Kate Parrish had career-bests of 27 points and 22 rebounds in only 22 minutes of playing time (photo by Daniel Addison)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Junior forward Kate Parrish had career highs with 27 points and 22 rebounds to lead a dominant second-half performance as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team broke the school record for most points in a game with a 104-70 win over Nebraska Wesleyan on Friday evening at Roberts Pavilion on the first day of the David Wells Classic.

Senior forward Lindsey Cleary also had a career-high 23 points to go along with 11 rebounds, and sophomore forward Flora Durgerian had a career-high 16 points, shooting 4-4 from three-point territory in the second half, as CMS improves to 4-0 on the season with the win. The Athenas trailed 44-37 at the half, but outscored Nebraska Wesleyan 67-26 in the second half to break the old school record of 101 points, set on Nov. 23, 1988 against Incarnate Word. 

Parrish also tied another school record by going 13-13 at the foul line, matching the mark for most foul shots made without a miss, set by Madeline Barnes against Redlands on Feb. 16, 2013. Her totals of 27 points and 22 rebounds also came in only 22 minutes of playing time, as she helped CMS hold a 67-19 advantage on the boards. She had 14 of her 22 rebounds on the offensive end, getting more offensive rebounds herself than Nebraska Wesleyan had on the defensive end as a team (13).

"We're always trying to fight and get that O-board," said Parrish about she and Cleary as a frontcourt tandem. "We try to get in position as much as we can, and finish as a result of that."

The storyline at the half wasn't so much the CMS inside dominance as it was Nebraska Wesleyan's pressure defense. The Prairie Wolves led 44-37 at the break, after scoring 26 points in the first quarter alone to lead by as many as 10 (26-16), and scored the first basket of the second half to push the lead to 46-37. 

From there, though, it was all CMS, as the Athenas outscored Nebraska Wesleyan 37-12 in the third quarter. Parrish and senior guard Lauren Longo had lay-ups to close to within 46-41 and Parrish made two foul shots for a quick 6-0 run to close the deficit to 46-43.

After the Prairie Wolves went ahead 52-46, CMS went on a 19-0 run in a span of 4:30 to flip the script and surge ahead by double figures. Cleary started the run with a lay-up and a jumper, and junior guard Maezelle Millan tied the score with a fast-break lay-up to make it 52-52 with 5:16 left in the third. Durgerian put the Athenas ahead to stay with a three-pointer, then added another to make the score 61-52. Parrish and Cleary added lay-ups off Millan feeds to cap the run at 65-52 with 2:36 left in the third. 

Durgerian hit her third three-pointer and senior guard Gloria Bates knocked down a baseline jumper off a pass from junior guard Kelly Keene to close out the third quarter with CMS ahead by 18 points (74-56) after trailing by seven at the half. 

The fourth quarter started with Durgerian knocking down her fourth three-pointer in a row to make the score 77-56 and CMS went on to take the 34-point win. Two foul shots from sophomore forward Jane Baldwin put CMS over 100 and matched the school record with 101 with 2:13 left, and first-year forward Austyn Masuno was responsible for the new school record in points with a three-point play with 1:05 to go. 

Millan finished with seven assists, Keene had four, and sophomore guard Kellie Okamura had four as CMS finished with 21 assists and 19 turnovers after struggling early in the game with the Nebraska Wesleyan pressure. 

"I give a lot of credit to our point guards," said Parrish. "I think they had a big job tonight to break that press. That really was a turning point, we could have gotten really frantic, but those point guards really handled the pressure and we settled down and played our game."

CMS will be back in action tomorrow when it heads across the street to Pomona-Pitzer to take on Gustavus Adolphus at 4:30 p.m. in a battle between two teams with perfect 4-0 records after Gustavus Adolphus knocked off Pomona-Pitzer 73-65 in the first game of the day at Roberts Pavilion.