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Renee Chong had 16 in her first start (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Renee Chong had 16 in her first start (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Women's Basketball Controls Second Half for Big Road Win over Cal Lutheran

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team trailed 38-32 at the break, but held Cal Lutheran to only 21 points after intermission as it rallied for a big 68-59 road win on Wednesday evening at Gilbert Arena.

With the win, CMS moves to 9-4 overall and 5-1 in the SCIAC, remaining in a tie for second place in the league standings with Redlands behind La Verne (7-0). Cal Lutheran falls to 9-4 overall and 3-3 in the SCIAC with the loss, slipping two games behind Redlands and CMS into fourth place. 

Renee Chong made her first start and had a team-high 16 points, while Ariana Dalia added 14 and Jacey Carter just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. 

Dalia hit a three-pointer to get CMS within 42-39 with 6:42 left in the third, and Chong followed with a layup to close the gap to one. Dalia scored with 3:35 left in the third off a pass from Mary Markaryan to give CMS its first lead of the second half, and after Cal Lutheran answered, Markaryan knocked down a three-pointer to put CMS ahead 48-46. 

Chong closed out the third quarter with a driving layup to make it a 52-47 CMS lead heading into the fourth. Cal Lutheran, though, responded with two three-pointers to take the lead back at 53-52, before Ruva Kiara converted a lay-up off a feed from Kayla Ishibashi to put CMS ahead to stay with 7:45 left.

The score was stuck at 55-53 for several possessions, before Grace Florendo drove for a lay-up with 5:15 left to make it a four-point CMS lead.  Dalia hit two foul shots, and Ishibashi had a big three-point play with 3:18 to go to get the lead up to nine at 62-53, and Cal Lutheran was unable to make a run to get back into it down the stretch. 

CMS outscored Cal Lutheran 20-9 in the third quarter, and held the Regals to only 8-30 shooting in the second half. 

The Athenas will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Caltech for a 2 p.m. contest.