CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball came close but fell in a tough home loss to the University of La Verne on Wednesday night as the Leopards prevailed 92-79. Freshman Emma Godfrey set the school record in scoring, putting up 38 points on 17-for-25 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds. The Sagehens were neck-and-neck with the Leopards for majority of the game, but a big run by the visitors in the third quarter proved to be the deciding factor.
Season Impact: The loss puts the Sagehens at a 2-6 record in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and 4-12 overall.
The contest was played at a fast-pace, as the Leopards and Sagehens combined for 153 shots. Renae Tamura had a career-high six blocks, while putting up 14 points and dishing out five assists. Amidst the frenzy, Keilani Ikehara showed her pesky defending, notching five steals while handing out five assists. Clarissa Perez showed why she was the leading-scorer in the SCIAC, leading the Leopards with 33 points on 11-for-23 shooting.
The two teams opened up the first quarter fairly tight, unable to build a significant lead over one another. With the Hens trailing 12-11, Tamura kept the game within one by blocking a layup and grabbing the board. She dribbled across the court and found Ikehara for a three-pointer to take a 14-12 lead. Later with a 1:43 left in the quarter, Anya Quig was caught in traffic in the high post, but swung the ball to an open Naomi Baer in the corner for a three-pointer to make it 17-16. The Leopards led 22-20 at the end of the first.
The Sagehens tried to keep it close with the Leopards in the second quarter, as the two teams traded baskets. The Leopards eventually built a five-point lead at 37-32 with 2:23 left in the half, but Godfrey managed to cut the run short with a tough and-one layup in the post to make it 37-35. She followed with a jumper to tie the game at 37. With 1:17 left, Quig managed to keep the game tied at 39 with a fade away jumper over her defender's hands. The two teams were tied at 42 at halftime.
La Verne opened up the third quarter with a 10-0 run to build a 52-42 lead. The Hens turned to Godfrey to stop the run as their guards drew the double team on the dribble penetration and fed an open Godfrey in the paint. However, the Leopards managed to maintain their double-digit lead as they closed the quarter with a 67-53 advantage.
Trailing 73-57 with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter, the Sagehens attempted to comeback as Godfrey led the surge. The freshman forward outpaced her defenders down the court and was fed a healthy diet of fast break passes for a 6-0 run to come within 10. She scored seven more points to bring the Hens within seven with 3:48 remaining. After Clarissa Perez scored two free throws to put the Leopards up 79-70, Ikehara swished a jumper in response. On the Leopards' next possession, Tamura locked down Perez on defense, making her miss, and hit an elbow jumper to bring the Hens within five. However, La Verne went on a 7-0 run to go back up in double-digits. They held on for the 92-79 victory.
Up Next: The Sagehens will host Whittier College for their second meeting of the season on January 20 at 4 p.m.