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Mary Markaryan had eight points and nine rebounds off the bench for CMS
Mary Markaryan had eight points and nine rebounds off the bench for CMS

Whittier Edges CMS Women's Basketball in Defensive Battle 53-46

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team saw an inspired effort from its second unit, which combined for 32 points, but Whittier was able to hold off a second-half comeback effort and take a 53-46 win over the Athenas on Monday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

Flora Durgerian came up with a team-high 12 points off the bench for CMS, which slips to 4-9 overall and 2-3 in the SCIAC with the loss. Whittier, which received 24 points on 5-6 shooting from three from Lainie James, moves to 7-3 overall and 4-1 in league play with the win. 

Mary Markaryan added eight points and nine rebounds off the CMS bench and helped spark the second-half rally. The Athenas trailed 27-23 at the half, and saw its deficit swell to 10 points in the first four minutes of the second half, as the Poets surged ahead 34-24. 

At that point, head coach Chanel Murchison switched out all five players, and the new unit (Durgerian, Markaryan, Sadie Heckman, Elizabeth Howell-Egan, and starter Jocelyn Song) rattled off nine straight points to close the deficit to just one point. Heckman started the rally with a three-pointer, and Durgerian followed with a three-point play to make it a 34-30 game.  Heckman was then fouled and split two foul shots, and Markaryan outworked everyone for a contested offensive rebound and put it back in to pull the Athenas within just a single point. 

James, though, responded with a three-pointer to restore the four-point lead for Whittier heading into the fourth quarter. She added another one to stretch the lead to 41-35 and a Rhe Nae Leach shot with 5:12 left matched the largest Poet lead of the game at 47-37.

CMS had one final rally as Austyn Masuno scored  and Durgerian followed with a three-pointer to close the deficit to 47-42 with 4:18 to go, but James, who hit her last five three-point attempts on the day, hit another big one to stretch the Poet lead to 50-42, and CMS wasn't able to get closer than seven the rest of the way.

Durgerian finished 4-8 from the floor and 3-6 from three-point territory for her 12 points, while Markaryan added three steals to her eight points and nine rebounds. Teani White added a strong stat line for Whittier with 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it entertains Cal Lutheran for a 7 p.m. game at Roberts Pavilion