WHITTIER, CA – In a game that featured eight lead changes and five ties the Whitter women's basketball team did enough down the stretch to top Caltech 75-68 on Saturday evening.
During the game first-year guard Stephanie Wong scored a team high 20 points to bring her season total to 365 point. Her total ties Ada Yu's Caltech record set during the 2002-03 season. Wong had one game left to break that 10 year old record.
In a high scoring first half on Saturday night both teams started well as each team hit 50 percent of their field goal attempts in the frame. With 7:57 left until halftime Whittier held a 22-18 lead. Caltech proceeded to score 10 unanswered points in grabbing a 32-25 lead with 3:33 left till intermission. The seven point spread was the largest lead of the night for the Beavers.
After Caltech's scoring run, the Poets turned the tide as they concluded the half on an 11-4 scoring spurt. The teams went into halftime tied 36-36.
The visiting Beavers came out of the locker room and, once again, grew their lead to seven points. A three-point play by Kristin Anderson capped the strong scoring start to the half as Caltech held a 47-40 lead with 16:14 left in the game.
The home team put the momentum back in their favor as they went on an 18-5 scoring spurt in helping them recapture the lead at 58-53 just before the half's midway point. The game's next several minutes proved pivotal. Caltech was held to two field goals over the next 10-plus minutes while Whittier slowly crept their lead to double figures. A Casceal Swaggard jumper with 2:28 remaining gave Whittier their largest lead of the night at 72-60.
A resilient Beavers team got their deficit down to 72-68 after a Grace Leishman jumper with 36 ticks on the clock. On the Poets ensuing possession they made one of two foul shots but grabbed the offensive rebound on the missed shot. Whittier sealed the game with two foul shots after grabbing the vital the rebound.
Caltech's defense was also solid as they forced Whittier into 17 turnovers which they turned into 25 points in helping them produce their highest scoring output of the season.
Leishman contributed a career best 14 points in 33 minutes of action while Anne Chen also chipped in a personal best scoring effort by tallying 13 in 39 minutes.
The Poets were led in scoring by Swaggard's 20 point effort. She grabbed a game high 15 rebounds which helped Whittier hold a 51-30 rebounding edge.
Caltech concludes the season on Monday night with a road game at ClaremontMuddScripps at 7:30 p.m.