CLAREMONT, Calif. - A day after scoring a school-record 104 points, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team couldn't get anything to fall, shooting just 20.6 percent from the floor, but stayed in it with defense and prevailed 41-37 over Gustavus Adolphus in a battle of unbeaten teams at Voelkel Gymnasium on the second day of the David Wells Classic.
With the win, CMS improves to 5-0 on the season, while handing Gustavus Adolphus its first loss as the Gusties fall to 4-1. In fact, three of the teams that CMS has beaten have suffered their only loss at the hands of the Athenas (5-1 Emory, 4-1 Gustavus Adolphus and 3-1 Puget Sound).
The Athenas closed out the third quarter with a 14-0 run and added the first basket of the fourth quarter to turn a 27-19 deficit into a 35-27 lead, and held on down the stretch. CMS had four big defensive plays in the final two minutes, with senior guard Gloria Bates blocking a shot and adding a steal with 30 seconds left, sandwiched around a steal from junior guard Maezelle Millan with 1:07 left and a steal from junior guard Katelynn Nguyen with 10 seconds to go.
CMS trailed 21-14 at the half after shooting only 3-24 over the first 20 minutes (12.5 percent), but used a 19-6 third quarter to surge ahead 33-27 at the end of three quarters. Yesterday, CMS had a 37-12 scoring advantage in the third quarter of a 104-70 win over Nebraska Wesleyan, which broke the old school record of 101 points which had stood since 1988.
The Gusties actually scored the first basket of the second half and led 25-16, before a three-pointer from Millan off a pass from junior guard Kelly Keene got the Athenas jump-started. Millan had a lay-up with 5:13 to go in the third quarter to make the score 27-21, and on the next possession, senior forward Lindsey Cleary scored off a pass from senior guard Lauren Longo to cut the lead to 27-23.
Nguyen then assisted on two straight lay-ups from Bates and Cleary to tie the score at 27-27, and junior forward Kate Parrish gave CMS its first lead of the half on a feed from Longo with 54 seconds on the third-quarter clock. Parrish then had two foul shots after a Gustavus Adolphus technical with four seconds left, and Nguyen beat the buzzer with a lay-up to give CMS a 33-27 lead heading into the fourth.
A Bates jumper with 8:43 left gave the Athenas their largest lead at 35-27, before the Gusties stopped the run with two foul shots and got back to within 35-32 with 7:29 left on a three-pointer from Caitlin Rorman. CMS scored its final six points from the line, coming with numerous key stops to hold the Gusties without a point over the final 2:39 to secure the win.
CMS did not have a single player reach double figures in scoring, as Parrish and Millan led the Athenas with nine points apiece. Parrish also had a game-high 12 rebounds, 10 offensive, one day after pulling down 22 rebounds (14 offensive) in the win over Nebraska Wesleyan. The Athenas forced 29 turnovers on the day, with Millan tallying four steals and Bates adding three steals to go along with three blocks.
CMS will be back in action next weekend when it travels to Saint Louis to compete in Washington University's tournament, facing Hendrix on Friday and host WashU on Saturday.