PASADENA (Nov. 17, 2018) – Senior Elizabeth Eiden (White Plains, N.Y. / Holy Child) led the Caltech women's basketball team to its first season-opening win in nearly a decade as the Beavers held a narrow margin throughout their 49-46 victory over Bethesda University on Saturday afternoon.
Eiden began her senior year with a statement all-around performance in a typical early-season game that demanded a composed performance to carry the winning team through. She supplemented a dominant 20-point, 11-rebound double-double with four assists, three steals and five blocks and calmly drained a pair of free throws in the final minute to put the game out of reach.
The victory marked the first season since 2001 that both the Caltech men's and women's teams opened the year with a win.
Both offenses took some time to get going in a sloppy first quarter, but Caltech was able to find enough consistency to hold a two-point lead after the first period and maintain that margin through halftime despite Bethesda benefitting from 10 additional free throw attempts.
The defensive battle continued as the third quarter got underway, with the first basket for Bethesda coming as late as the 6:15 mark. The Beavers responded immediately, however, as junior Samantha D'Costa (San Jose, Calif. / St. Francis) hit a jumper followed by two free throws, then contributed to Caltech's disruptive effort on the defensive end with a steal and block on consecutive possessions before rookie Jillian Reed (Hawthorne, Calif. / Mira Costa) found senior Nika Haleftiras (San Diego, Calif. / Our Lady of Peace) cutting to the basket for a layup. Eiden capped the run with an offensive put-back for a game-high eight-point lead at 32-24 with 3:20 left to play in the third quarter.
Caltech never once surrendered the lead, but instead fought off a Bethesda rally that cut the deficit to one point by matching the earlier eight-point margin with 2:05 remaining in the game. Two clutch three-pointers for the Flames pulled the game within a basket entering the final minute, but Eiden went up strong under the basket to get the foul call and sank both shots from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Head Coach Bridgette Reyes and the Beavers (1-0) return to the court on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. when the host the University of Dallas (0-1) in a doubleheader with the men's team.