Slow Start Hands CMS Women's Basketball First Loss of 2019-20 Season

Senior Lauren Longo (along with junior Maezelle Millan) earned All-Tournament team honors (photo court. WashU)
Senior Lauren Longo (along with junior Maezelle Millan) earned All-Tournament team honors (photo court. WashU)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team was held to just four points in the first quarter and 12 in the first half and couldn't dig its way out of the hole, as it suffered its first loss of the season with a 67-52 defeat at Washington University on the second day of the McWilliams Classic.

The loss drops CMS to 6-1 on the year, leaving it one win shy of matching the best start in program history at 7-0, set by the 2003-04 team. WashU, which reached the NCAA Elite Eight last year, improves to 5-2 with the win. 

Senior Lauren Longo, who shot 5-6 from three-point territory on her way to a career-high 19 points in yesterday's win over Hendrix, was named to the All-Tournament team, along with junior Maezelle Millan, who had a career-high 13 points yesterday. Senior forward Kate Parrish was the only player in double figures for CMS with 11 points and 10 rebounds against WashU. 

Millan picked up two fouls in the first 41 seconds and sat the rest of the half, while senior forward Lindsey Cleary was limited to 2:25 of playing time with two fouls as well. Parrish and senior forward Gloria Bates had lay-ups in the first quarter, but that was all the offense that the Athenas could muster as they trailed 17-4 after the first 10 minutes and had to play from behind the rest of the way. 

After WashU opened the second quarter with a basket to stretch the lead to 19-4, first-year guard Jacey Carter jump-started the CMS offense with a three-pointer. Sophomore Jane Baldwin convetered a lay-up and sophomore Flora Durgerian hit a three-pointer to get the lead into single digits at 21-12. A 7-0 WashU run pushed the lead to 16, before Longo capped off the half with two foul shots to make it a 28-14 deficit at the break. 

CMS continued its trend of improving its play in the second half, scoring 21 points in the third quarter alone, but WashU matched the Athenas with 21 points of its own. Carter closed out the third quarter with a three-pointer and started the fourth quarter with another one to make the score 49-38, and a Parrish lay-up with 4:03 to go got CMS within single digits at 61-52. The Athenas had three chances to cut the lead even closer but could not convert, and the Bears closed out on a 6-0 run to make the final 67-52. 

CMS shot just 5-37 in the first half (13.5 percent), but found more of a rhythm on offense in the second half with Millan and Cleary back in the rotation, shooting 13-32 after the break. Bates had five blocks off the bench and Parrish had three, as CMS set a new McWilliams Classic record with nine blocks as a team. 

CMS is back in action on Wednesday when it opens SCIAC play with a road game against Pomona-Pitzer, beginning at 7 p.m.