CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team tied the game with 1:32 left but two free throws by Renae Tamura with 41 seconds remaining and a trio of missed opportunities offensively for the Athenas gave the Sagehens the first Sixth Street Rivalry matchup of the season 80-78 on Wednesday night at Voelkel Gymnasium.
The Athenas fall to 6-2 on the season with the loss and drop to 0-1 in their first SCIAC game of the early part of the year. Pomona-Pitzer improves to 4-4 so far and 2-0 in the conference. CMS has now lost its last two contests after dropping the final matchup of the McWilliams Classic in St. Louis, Mo. to WashU, 67-52.
Early in the first quarter, the Athenas pushed out to a 7-0 lead and never trailed in the opening frame taking a 21-18 advantage through the first 10 minutes of play. Parrish began the game on fire, knocking down quality looks in the paint and going 3-3 from the field to lead the way with eight points in the opening quarter. Millan used her speed and versatility to get to the basket and scoring five points on 2-4 shooting. The Athenas shot 50% (8-16) from the field in the quarter.
Pomona-Pitzer battled back in the second quarter outscoring CMS 22-18 to grab a 40-39 lead going into the halftime break. Carly Leong led the way offensively in that quarter for the Sagehens with seven points on 3-6 shooting and finished with 22 points on 9-18 from the field overall for the game.
Out of the halftime break, the Athenas pushed back grabbing a 41-40 lead on a coast-to-coast two-point basket for Maezelle Millan following a steal. The Sagehens and Athenas would trade baskets moving deeper into the third quarter after Leong sank a jumper and Emily Church rattled home a layup. Parrish sank two free-throws to cut the margin to 44-43 and Kelly Keene blew by a defender to put home a layup and push the Athenas back in front 45-44. Keene made her second consecutive two-pointer to give the Athenas their largest lead since the first quarter, 47-44.
Following a pair of missed jumpers by Amara Chidom and Tamura, Parrish grabbed a defensive board and Flora Durgerian sank a jumper of her own to push the Athenas further in front 53-46. Four consecutive points by the Sagehens cut the game to a three-point margin 53-50 with CMS in front at the 2:01 mark of the third quarter.
The Athenas held the 61-54 edge through three-quarters of play after Jocelyn Song made a buzzer-beating jump shot to close out the third frame. In the fourth quarter, the Athenas held as much as a seven-point lead with 5:20 to play but Pomona-Pitzer chipped away late as it was cut to five points with 5:03 remaining. Kamil English had a steal with 4:30 left in the final quarter that was converted on the other end by Tamura to cut the Athenas advantage to 73-70 with 4:30 left.
Keene pushed the Athenas lead back to five points with a three-pointer as she gave CMS a 76-71 lead with 4:16 remaining. From that point forward the Sagehens went on a 7-0 run to move in front 78-76 and after Parrish tied the game 78-78 with two free-throws the Athenas fouled the Sagehens and sent Tamura to the line who made both extending the Pomona-Pitzer advantage to 80-78. CMS could not capitalize on three scoring opportunities in the final minute and the Athenas fell 80-78.
Parrish led the way for the Athenas scoring 21 points on 7-12 from the field including 7-9 from the free-throw line. CMS managed to put two players in double-digit scoring along with Parrish, Millan scored a career-high 19 points on 8-13 from the field and 3-3 from the free-throw stripe. The Athenas shot 49.2% (30-61) from the field and made 15-19 (78.9%) from the free-throw line for the game. Keene added seven points finishing 3-7 on field goals and 1-4 from three-point land. Lindsey Cleary was limited in playing time to 17 minutes because of foul trouble and finished with seven points as well. Flora Durgerian scored seven points off the bench on 3-8 from the field and 1-3 from three-point range.
The Athenas are back in action following the holiday break as they hit the road to Las Vegas and face St. Vincent on Dec. 29 and DeSales on Dec. 30 in the prestigious Las Vegas Classic at the South Point Arena. Following the turn of the new year, CMS restarts SCIAC play with Whittier College coming to Roberts Pavilion on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.