PASADENA (Nov. 16, 2019) – The Caltech women's basketball team kick-started its 2019 season in dramatic fashion, going to overtime with the University of St. Katherine in Saturday's home opener.
Three Caltech players played the full 45 minutes with senior point guard Grace Peng (San Ramon, Calif. / California) leading the group with 20 points. Peng proved to be a problem the Firebirds had trouble solving all game long, whether scoring from the inside (six points in the paint) or outside (4-for-8 from three). The senior scored 15 of her points between the middle two quarters, a dominant stretch where the Beavers outscored the visiting Firebirds, 41-20, thanks to efficient shooting from Peng and freshman forward Sahana Saikumar (Arcadia, Calif. / Arcadia).
Like her senior teammate, Saikumar accumulated most of her damage between the second and third quarters, scoring 17 of her team-best 23 points over that stretch. Saikumar also opened her career with a double-double, pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds. Senior forward Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) came one rebound away from the first double-double of her career (11 points, nine rebounds) and freshman guard Faith Pinney (Spokane, Wash. / Gonzaga Preparatory School) led the Beavers with six assists.
After an early rush from the Firebirds, Caltech's big middle 20 minutes staked the home team to a 16-point lead heading into the game's final period. However, the Beavers would score just seven points the rest of the way, giving way to St. Katherine's superior depth and numbers. Caltech appeared to thwart St. Katherine on a would-be game-winning three, but the Firebirds corralled their own rebound and eventually tied the game before winning it in overtime against a team stricken by foul trouble.
Head Coach Bridgette Reyes and the Beavers will look to turn things around on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when they host Life Pacific College at 6 p.m.