PASADENA, CA – A strong finish aided Grinnell's 79-56 win over Caltech on Monday afternoon during the CMS/Caltech Winter Classic.
The Pioneers opened up a double figure lead just before the midway point of the first half. Holding an 18-17 advantage, Grinnell scored 12 unanswered points as they upped their lead to 30-17 with 8:21 left until intermission. The Pioneers kept their edge at double figures the remainder of the half as they held a 40-28 decision going into the locker room.
Grinnell kept a steady lead after halftime and took their largest lead of the game at 55-39 with 13:32 remaining in the contest. A resilient Caltech squad put together a scoring run. Spurred on by a tenacious defense the Beavers dwindled their deficit down to 61-56 with 5:07 left. During that 17-5 spurt, Stephanie Wong scored seven points while Esther Du added six. Caltech forced the Pioneers into four turnovers and held them to just one made field goal during that stretch.
Unfortunately for the home team the Pioneers scored the game's final 18 points to seal the win.
Wong scored a personal season best 23 points while playing a season high 38 minutes. Bridget Connor added 12 points and Du contributed an 11-point afternoon.
Alissa Hirsh had a team best 17 points for the Pioneers. Cristal Coleman chipped in a 15-point afternoon.
The day's first game saw CMS knock off Hamline 60-51. On Tuesday the four teams face-off at CMS. The first game is at 1 p.m. when Caltech plays Hamline. The Athenas will host Grinnell to complete the two-day, four-team event.