WHITTIER, CA – Every statistical category was close in a game that could have gone either way; went in Whittier's favor 72-65 as Caltech season came to an end.
The home team made one more field goal (26-to-25), held a plus-one rebounding margin (40-to-39) and connected on just two more free throws (13-to-11) as they pulled out the win.
Caltech started hot as they raced out to an early lead. During the game's first five minutes the Beavers scored on five of their first six possessions in taking a 15-9 lead. Whittier responded as they took a 22-17 lead just a few minutes later. The remainder of the half remained a single digit lead for the Poets as both teams shooting cooled down.
The largest lead of the half came with 8:28 on the clock and Whittier holding a 31-25 edge. A solid close to the period by the Beavers made the score 35-33 in the home teams favor as the squads went into the locker room.
For a majority of the second frame the lead stayed in Whittier's favor at single digits. A big momentum swing in the game took place with 8:51 remaining. Whittier was clinging to a 60-54 lead when they went a 7-1 scoring spurt to up their lead to 12-points. Down 67-55, and 4:53 showing on the scoreboard, the Beavers made a courageous charge back.
During the next three-plus minutes, Caltech held the Poets scoreless as they shrunk their deficit. Kate Lewis culminated a 9-0 run as she converted on a lay-up with 1:02 left. Holding a slim 67-64 lead, Whittier was forced into a timeout.
After the full timeout, Danielle Quinones's three-pointer at the end of the shot clock found the bottom of the net. Now down six Caltech couldn't hit a field attempt but Kristen Anderson was able to convert one of two free throws with 11 ticks left. A hectic sequence ensued as Whittier turned the ball but the Beavers turned it over a few seconds later to all but seal the win for the Poets. Two free throws by Dannika Navales-Lugt rounded out the scoring.
Lewis put together a fine outing to close out her first-year with the program. Lewis had game high in points (20) and rebounds (14) as she tallied her third double-double of the season. Bridget Connor scored in double figures for the 14th time this season by recording a 13-point night. Stephanie Wong added 10 points to round out the double figure scorers for the Beavers.
Quinines led the Whittier cause as she scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.