PASADENA, CA – Whittier put together their best scoring output of the season as they posted a 100-73 win over Caltech on Thursday evening.
Whittier built their first half lead in large part because of pressing defense. They forced the Beavers into 14 turnovers in the opening frame which they converted into 22 points. The Poets jumped out to a quick eight point spread at 10-2 to start the game before Caltech crept back into the game. The Beavers found themselves down just two at 16-14 with 11:20 left until intermission.
The Poets put their lead back into the double figures courtesy of an 18-4 scoring run as they grabbed a 34-18 edge. The visitors went up as many as 17 points in the first half before a furious finish to the half. Caltech scored 10 of the period's final 12 points, including frantic four point swing in the closing seconds, as Whittier held a 45-36 lead at the break.
An efficient shooting second half paced the Poets to the win. Whittier made eight of their first nine field goal attempts after the break to up their lead to 63-42 and never looked back. The strong start to the second half was a precursor to how Whittier's shooting went during the final 20 minutes. The visitors hit 67.7 percent (21-for-31) of their field goal attempts to spoil any potential Beavers comeback.
A host of players scored in double figure for the Poets led by Danielle Hays' 22-point evening. Carly Buechler (18) and Priscilla Rodriguez (13) each came off the bench to score in double figures. Both Ashley Genie and Dannika Navales-Lugt contributed a double-double. Navales-Lugt added a 12-point, 10-assist evening while Genie scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
For the second straight game Grace Leishman recorded a career high by scoring 22 points in 32 minutes. The sophomore went 11-for-17 from the floor. Stephanie Wong canned a season high five three-pointers en route to scoring a game high 23 points.
The Beavers get right back at on Saturday evening when they travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for a 7 p.m. tip-off.