CLAREMONT, CA: Basha Brulee-Wills tallied her second consecutive double-double but a strong second-half offensive push gave Linfield enough breathing room to hold off Pomona-Pitzer's late runs for a 67-57 victory tonight at Voelkel Gymnasium.
Facing off for the seventh consecutive year in non-conference action, it was the Wildcats (4-1) who were able to avenge their 69-50 loss from last season and push their record to 6-1 against the Sagehens (1-2) over the seven season stretch. From the opening tip-off, Pomona-Pitzer looked primed to pick up from where they left off against Linfield in 2014, going on a 12-2 run right out the gate led by Basha Brulee-Wills' seven point burst. While the Wildcats would respond with a 13-5 run of their own, Brulee-Wills' layup just before the buzzer gave the Sagehens a 20-15 lead heading into the 2nd Quarter.
However, Linfield would only need just under four minutes to take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game, jumping ahead 23-21 on a Hannah Depew layup at the 6:27 mark and extending their lead to as much as seven before taking a 35-32 lead into halftime. While the Sagehens would limit the Wildcats to only 21.4% (3-14) shooting for the quarter, Linfield would go 8-10 on free throws as well as forcing five turnovers including four steals to limit Pomona-Pitzer's offensive opportunities.
While a tightly contested 3rd quarter saw the two teams go into the 4th quarter with Linfield leading 49-45, the Wildcats' 50% (7-14) shooting in the 4th quarter and timely defense helped them push their lead to 10 with four minutes left in the game and stave off any Sagehen runs to earn their fourth victory of the season with the final score of 67-57.
Basha Brulee-Wills led all players with 17 points and a career high 18 rebounds to notch the 26th double-double of her career. Alaina Woo added another strong offensive performance off the bench for the Sagehens, tallying 12 points and two rebounds in 21 minutes of action while Keilani Ikehara compiled eight points on 3-6 shooting from the floor (2-5 on three-pointers) and a team high two steals. Freshman Melissa Hooke also made a considerable impact in her first career game at Pomona-Pitzer after finishing her season with the Women's Soccer team two weeks ago notching seven points and three rebounds in her 18 minutes of action.
Pomona-Pitzer will return to action on Friday as they take on Puget Sound at 5 pm in the Linde Activities Center in the opening round of the David Wells Classic. More information about the tournament can be found at http://cmsathletics.org/sports/wbkb/2015-16/releases/WellsClassic.