Second Half Rally Falls Short As Occidental Holds On For Win

Second Half Rally Falls Short As Occidental Holds On For Win
Los Angeles, Calif. - The Occidental Women's Basketball team used a pair of first half runs to take a 34-22 lead into the break and held off a late Pomona-Pitzer rally to capture a 56-47 win over Pomona-Pitzer on Thursday evening. 
With the loss, the Sagehens slip to 5-9 overall and 3-4 in SCIAC play. Occidental sees its record improve 9-6 overall and 3-4 in the league.
Pomona-Pitzer led 7-5 early after five points from freshman Basha Brulee-Wills, but Occidental went on a 13-0 run to pull ahead 18-7 with 11 minutes left in the first half. The Sagehens regrouped, as sophomore forward Jenn Okonkwo (pictured) had an old-fashioned three-point play to end the run, and sophomore forward Amelia Hummel had two straight jumpers to help Pomona-Pitzer pull back within 20-18. 
However, Occidental went on a 14-2 run to build a 34-20 lead in the final minute of the first half. Brulee-Wills scored on a layup to close the first half scoring, making the score 34-22 at the break. 
After the Tigers scored the first basket of the second half, freshman guard Alaina Woo hit a three-pointer and Brulee-Wills added a layup to get the lead to single digits at 36-27. However, Occidental's Alyssa Mort scored on two straight possessions to make the score 40-27 and the Tigers built the lead up to as many as 15 points (44-29).
Junior forward Maria Weyhrauch then stepped up off the bench with six points, and Timken made a layup to close out an 8-0 run and get the Sagehens all the way back to within 49-46 with 6:23 left.  However, Crystal Goodwin hit one foul shot to make it a two-possession game and both teams went cold from the floor down the stretch until Occidental was able to put the game away at the foul line. 
Pomona-Pitzer held Occidental to no field goals in the last 9:20 (when Ashton Reid made a layup), and only one field goal in the last 12:53, after a Goodwin jumper. The Tigers, though, were able to hold off the Sagehens on the defensive end, holding Pomona-Pitzer to only one point in the last 6:23.
Okonkwo was the only Sagehen in double figures with 11 points, while adding nine rebounds, while Brulee-Wills finished with nine points and five rebounds in 20 minutes. Goodwin had 15 points, and Reid added 14 to lead Occidental.
Pomona-Pitzer will have the weekend off before returning to action on Tuesday with a home game against La Sierra, beginning at 7:30 p.m. That will be followed by home games against Caltech on Thursday and La Verne on Saturday as the Sagehens will have three games in five days at Voelkel Gymnasium.