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Tanya Ghai's three-point play nearly was the difference (photo by Stella Cheng)
Tanya Ghai's three-point play nearly was the difference (photo by Stella Cheng)

Comeback Effort Denied as CMS Women's Basketball Drops Tight One to La Verne 67-64

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Tanya Ghai converted a three-point play with 28 seconds left as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to take the lead, but Chiara Brown (32 points) answered back for La Verne seven seconds later as the Leopards prevailed in a tight 67-64 win over the Athenas on Wednesday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

La Verne, the defending SCIAC regular season champion, moves to 10-5 overall on the year, as well as 6-2 in conference in its quest to repeat. CMS, which had 16 points from Katie Resendiz and 13 from Ghai, slips to 3-12 overall and 1-7 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

CMS trailed 41-31 in the third quarter, but responded with a 10-0 run to tie it up. Ghai fed Resendiz for a lay-up to start the run, and Kayla Ishbashi, Syona Mandyam and Georgeanna Dempsey followed with baskets, before Resendiz tied it up at 41-41. 

La Verne was able to surge back ahead 47-42 going into the fourth, and went ahead 56-48 on an Annie Trinh three-pointer, but Resendiz answered right back with a three-pointer. After the Leopards went ahead by six, Ghai converted the first of her two three-point plays in the fourth with 3:16 to go to make the score 59-56. Ghai then knocked down a three to close to 61-59 with 2:48 to go, and a Mary Markaryan layup tied it 61-61 with 1:41 left. 

Brown hit two foul shots with 34 seconds left to put La Verne ahead 63-61, before Ghai gave CMS its short-lived lead. Trinh forced a steal on the next possession and Marissa Howell was fouled with four seconds left, knocking down both to stretch the lead to six, and CMS was only able to get off a desperation shot from midcourt as time expired. 

Brown finished with 32 points and 12 rebounds for the Leopards, who held a 45-32 edge on the glass. Resendiz spearheaded the CMS defense with five steals. 

CMS will be back in action on Saturday when it hosts Pomona-Pitzer for a 4 p.m. contest.