LOS ANGELES, CA – After a slow start the Beavers turned on their offense with a strong post presence in tallying a 73-61 win over Crown College at Occidental on Friday afternoon.
"After a worrisome start to the game we were able to compose ourselves and get down to business," said head coach Sandra Marbut. "We did a lot of good things tonight led by our post players. We will enjoy this win for a brief moment and carry the momentum into Saturday's game."
After an ominous start, the Beavers grabbed control and found an offensive rhythm. Caltech missed their first eight field goal attempts as Crown jumped out to a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. An Esther Du three-pointer broke the scoreless drought and began a run of seven unanswered points in spurring the offense.
Caltech continued to chip away at their deficit and took their first lead of the game at 21-20 when Kristin Anderson hit a jumper with 6:41 left in the half. For the rest of the half the Beavers outscored Crown 13-7 as they took a 34-27 lead at intermission.
During the first 20 minutes Caltech forced Crown into 18 turnovers which they translated into 13 points as they built their seven-point halftime edge. Du went 4-for-5 from the floor in the half, including two three-pointers, during her 10-point half.
Crown rallied in the second half and took a 39-37 lead with 14:50 left in the contest. Over the next five-plus minutes the lead changed hands three times with three ties. A Michelle Wong three-pointer with 9:49 gave the Beavers a 50-48 lead. It was a lead they refused to relinquish but fought to keep.
With 5:25 left a Kate Lewis lay-in gave Caltech a 58-50 lead but the Storm got within four points on three occasions down the stretch yet couldn't get their deficit down to a single possession. The Beavers sealed the win by hitting nine of their final 10 shots from the charity stripe.
Grace Leishman posted her first career double-double with a career high 19 points while corralling 12 rebounds. Fellow post player Lewis also posted a double-double with a 16-point, 16-reound effort in the second collegiate contest.
Du chipped-in a 14 point, six-rebound, five-assist performance to aid in the winning cause.
Caltech hosts La Sierra on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. to close out the Occidental/Caltech Thanksgiving Classic. Occidental plays Crown at 4 p.m.