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Ava Grey set a career-high with 15 points (photo by Joial Griffith)
Ava Grey set a career-high with 15 points (photo by Joial Griffith)

CMS Women's Basketball Rides Quick Start to 64-60 Win over East Texas Baptist

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team hit four straight three-pointers to open up a 12-0 lead and never trailed, holding off numerous East Texas Baptist surges the rest of the way to capture a 64-60 win on the second day of the David Wells Classic on Saturday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

Ava Grey set a career-high with 15 points and was matched for team-high honors by Katie Resendiz, who had 14 of her 15 points in the second half. With the win, CMS moves to 1-4 on the season, while East Texas Baptist slips to 1-5. 

East Texas Baptist came all the way back to tie the game in the fourth quarter on a three-pointer from Tiffany Bickford with 4:45 to play. However, on the next possession, the Tigers were called for a technical foul due to flopping after being issued a warning, and Resendiz stepped to the line to make both free throws, which was followed immediately by a three-pointer from Syona Mandyam for a five-point possession to put the Athenas ahead 54-49. 

After a stop, Resendiz then hit a three-pointer off a Grey pass to make it an 8-0 run and seemingly put the game away for the Athenas, but East Texas Baptist had one more surge left in it. Trailing 62-55 after Resendiz hit another three-pointer, Kadia Ward answered with a three-pointer with 1:03 to go, and then had a steal in the backcourt before feeding Payton Hicks for a lay-up to make it 62-60 with 54 seconds left. 

The Tigers then had a chance to take the lead, but Ward missed a three-pointer and Resendiz had a blocked shot on a put back attempt. CMS split two at the line, and a Bickford three-point attempt to tie it in missed the mark as the Athenas were able to hold on for the win.

After the teams exchanged early stops, Kayla Ishibashi got the three-point barrage started by knocking down two in a row off of passes form Grace Florendo, who then made one of her own off a Resendiz pass. After an Ishibashi blocked shot at one end, Grey knocked down a three off a pass from Ruva Kiara to make it a 12-0 game at the 6:23 mark of the first quarter. 

CMS carried a 19-8 lead into the second quarter, before the Tigers found their footing and came all the way back to within a single point on three occasions. However, Grey had a big stretch where she had a buzzer-beating three to end the first half and give CMS a 31-27 lead, then opened the second half with another three-pointer to put the Athenas ahead by seven. 

Florendo hit a three-pointer to give CMS a double-digit lead at 45-35 with 1:34 left in the third, but the Tigers outscored the Athenas 14-4 over the next seven minutes to tie the score up on the Bickford three-pointer, before CMS was able to take the lead for good. 

The Athenas held East Texas Baptist to just 25 percent shooting from the floor on the day (17-68), but the Tigers were able to hang in there by shooting 23-25 from the line. Ishibashi and Mandyam each finished with eight points, while Mary Markaryan led CMS with nine rebounds and three steals. 

CMS will be back in action when it opens SCIAC play with a road game at Cal Lutheran on Wednesday evening.