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Tanya Ghai (18 points) pulls up for the game-winner
Tanya Ghai (18 points) pulls up for the game-winner

Tanya Ghai Wins it at the Buzzer as Athenas Rally to Defeat Wheaton

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Tanya Ghai shot 6-6 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team rallied from 12 points down for a dramatic 54-51 win over Wheaton (Ill.) on Saturday at Roberts Pavilion.

Ghai had 13 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in the final 2:35, as CMS improves to 2-9 with the win. Wheaton sees its record fall to 8-4 with the defeat. 

Ghai tied the score with 25 seconds left with a baseline jumper, and had a defensive rebound with four seconds left, but stepped on the baseline just before CMS could call a timeout. Wheaton tried to set up a baseline out of bounds play, but Mary Markaryan got in the way of the inbounds pass and stole it away, and the Athenas were able to advance the ball after calling a timeout with 2.4 seconds left. 

CMS didn't run anything fancy with the last possession, merely inbounded the ball to its hot hand, and Ghai was able to shake free with a stutter-step to her left, and bury the game-winning shot as time expired. Her 18 points matched her career high set earlier this season against Cal Lutheran. 

CMS, which never led until the game-winner, trailed 18-7 after the first quarter, and was down by 12 early in the fourth quarter, before dominating down the stretch, outscoring the Thunder 19-6 in the final 10 minutes.  CMS did with defense, forcing 12 Wheaton turnovers in the fourth quarter, as the Thunder was only able to take six field goal attempts in the final 10 minutes.  

Katie Resendiz cut the lead to 10 points with 7:17 to go at 49-39, and Ghai hit a jumper with 6:17 left to close to within 49-41. Markaryan trimmed the lead to six with a jumper in the paint with 4:42 to go, and Ghai pulled up from the right wing with 2:35 left to close an 8-0 run and get the Athenas back within 49-45.

Annika Richardson stopped the bleeding momentarily for the Thunder with a driving layup with 2:13 to play, but Ghai connected on another jumper, and Markaryan had a steal and a fast break layup to close to within 51-49.  

Resendiz was also in double figures for CMS with 11 points, and added five steals, while Markaryan had eight points, six rebounds and three steals. 

CMS will be back in action when it returns to SCIAC play on Wednesday for a road game at Redlands, beginning at 7 p.m.