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Ava Grey set a new career high with 14 points
Ava Grey set a new career high with 14 points

CMS Women's Basketball Rallies in Fourth to Edge Whittier 66-62

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Ariana Dalia had 17 points and Ava Grey added a career-high 14 as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team rallied from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Whittier 66-62 on Saturday afternoon at Roberts Pavilion.

With the win, CMS moves to 8-4 on the season and 4-1 in the SCIAC, picking up a key league win after suffering its first loss on Wednesday to La Verne, staying firmly in the top four of the league standings. Whittier, the defending SCIAC Champion, came up short in its bid for its first league win, falling to 3-9 overall and 0-5 in the league. 

Jacey Carter hit a big go-ahead three-pointer to put CMS ahead to stay late in the game, and Grace Florendo hit two pressure foul shots with five seconds left to seal it. 

Whittier outscored CMS 23-14 in the third quarter to take a 48-44 lead into the fourth. After the Poets scored the first basket of the fourth to make it a six-point game, Grey knocked down her fourth three-pointer of the contest to pull the Athenas within 50-47. 

Whittier answered that three-pointer with one of its own, but couldn't get separation, and the Athenas were able to pull within 57-55 when Grey beat the shot clock by flipping in a loose ball in the paint with 4:40 left to start a key 9-0 run. Mary Markaryan tied the score with a jumper in the paint, and after Dalia had a steal, Carter measured a three-pointer from the right wing and knocked it down to put CMS ahead for the first time in the fourth at 60-57. 

After Carter made two foul shots with 1:24 to go to stretch it to 62-57, Rhe Nae Leach ended the drought for Whittier with two free throws with 1:09 left. Carter led Ruva Kiara for a layup with 46 seconds left to get it back to five, and Leach had a three-point play with eight seconds left to make it 64-62. Florendo was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and knocked down both foul shots, making it a two possession game and rendering Whittier's last desperation three-pointer meaningless. 

Grey finished with 14 points to surpass her previous high of 12 set last year, shooting 5-8 from the floor and 4-7 from three. Dalia had seven offensive rebounds (eight total) and five steals to go with her 17 points, and Kiara was also in double figures with 10 points. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday when it travels to Cal Lutheran for a 7 p.m. contest.