PASADENA (Nov. 28, 2018) – The Caltech women's basketball team nearly completed an improbable comeback on Wednesday night, ultimately coming up short to California Lutheran University in the season's first SCIAC contest.
The Beavers found themselves in a 20-8 hole coming out of the first quarter but used each of the following 30 minutes to claw their way back and eventually grab the lead for the first time with 7:51 to go in regulation. A three-pointer by senior guard Nika Haleftiras (San Diego, Calif. / Our Lady of Peace) to end the third quarter bounced around the rim but ultimately fell to halve the Regals' lead at three points heading into the final quarter. Subsequently, senior forward Madeline Schemel (Westport, Conn. / Staples) took a great feed from junior guard Samantha D'Costa (San Jose, Calif. / St. Francis) to the hole for a layup to hand the Beavers their first lead of the game. From there on out, the two teams traded leads all the way down to the final two minutes of the game where a deeper, more experienced Cal Lutheran team pulled out all the stops to secure the win.
Following the first quarter, Caltech outscored Cal Lutheran, 48-41. A victory would have marked the Beavers' first win over the Regals in the history of the women's basketball program.
"I was extremely proud of my squad," Head Coach Bridgette Reyes said. "We had a rough start to the game but they pushed back, fought back, competed, showed passion and really showed they can compete with any team in the league. Cal Lutheran is a very good team and I just couldn't be more proud of what we did tonight."
Senior center Elizabeth Eiden (White Plains, N.Y. / Holy Child) paced Caltech with yet another double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, with her final board coming off a Cal Lutheran missed free throw in the game's final minute. The senior also accounted for all three of her team's blocks. D'Costa had another stellar all-around performance with 14 points, 13 rebounds and six assists while knocking down all four of her free throw attempts. The junior currently leads the conference in rebounding, and along with Eiden is still averaging a double-double per game. Schemel, meanwhile, broke out with arguably the best game of her Caltech career. The senior helped her side with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Reyes and the Beavers (3-2 overall, 0-1 SCIAC) will turn around to travel to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (4-2, 1-0) on Saturday, Dec. 1 for a 5 p.m. clash.