CMS Women's Basketball Pushes Win Streak to Seven with 71-57 Victory over La Verne

Jane Baldwin beats the first-half buzzer to cap a personal 7-0 run (photo by Kiubon Kokko)
Jane Baldwin beats the first-half buzzer to cap a personal 7-0 run (photo by Kiubon Kokko)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team moved into a tie for second place in the SCIAC with its seventh straight win, knocking off La Verne 71-57 on Monday night at Roberts Pavilion.

With the win, CMS now stands at 16-6 overall and 9-4 in league play, matching Whittier for second place two games behind first-place Redlands in the loss column. La Verne slips to 13-7 overall and 6-6 in league play with the loss. 

Senior forward Lindsey Cleary led the Athenas offensively with 15 points, while sophomore Jane Baldwin and first-year guard Jacey Carter had 10 points each as CMS finished with 36 points off the bench. La Verne played a helter-skelter style, looking to trap all over the floor and shoot early in the shot clock, and Baldwin, who added eight points, two blocks and three steals in her productive 13 minutes, said that she felt she could have an impact against the Leopards when she entered the game late in the first half. 

"I'd been watching on the sideline for the first quarter or so, and I definitely picked up on some of the chaos that they were bringing to us," said Baldwin. "Coming off the bench, I knew I just wanted to help us play our game and our style of play."  

Baldwin's play off the bench helped turn the tide in the second quarter, as she scored the last seven points in a 13-0 run that flipped a 28-25 deficit with six minutes left into a 38-28 lead at the half. She hit a jump shot with 2:25 left to put CMS ahead 33-28, grabbed an offensive rebound and made one of two at the line to stretch the lead to six, had steals on two straight La Verne possessions, converting a breakaway layup on the second, and then went coast-to-coast to beat the buzzer with a layup to make it a 10-point game at halftime. 

Cleary started the second half with two foul shots to extend the run to 15-0 before La Verne finally ended its six-minute drought with a Dejanee Gill layup. The Leopards got the lead under 10 at 45-36 on another Gill layup, but senior guard Gloria Bates made a tough twisting layup to answer right back. Baldwin's putback with 1:44 left in the third made it a 50-38 lead, before CMS settled for a 51-41 lead after three. 

Cleary and junior guard Kelly Keene had back-to-back baskets to give CMS a 57-42 lead with 7:51 to go. Cleary followed her own miss to make it a 61-44 lead with 6:26 to play, and a Carter three-pointer gave the Athenas their largest lead of the night at 64-46 with 5:40 left before the final ended up 71-57.

The CMS defense held La Verne below 30 percent shooting, as the Leopards made just 20 of their 69 shot attempts (29.0 percent), including 6-30 from three-point territory (20.0 percent).  The Athenas shot 41.5 percent on their offensive end (27-65). 

CMS will look to extend its winning streak to eight games when it hosts Occidental on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. for its final regular season home contest. The Athenas still have a big trip to Redlands next week, before concluding the regular season with a rematch with La Verne on Feb. 22.