LA VERNE, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2015) – Sophomore Kate Lewis (San Antonio, Texas / Ronald Reagan) recorded her SCIAC-leading sixth double-double of the season and junior Stephanie Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) poured in an efficient 16 points to pace the Caltech women's basketball team at the University of La Verne on Saturday afternoon.
The Beavers outshot their opponents, 47-39 percent from the field, and came away with a positive rebound margin for the first time this season at +10, but the Leopards created 13 more shots and hit five additional three-pointers while committing 13 fewer turnovers. La Verne improves to 8-9 overall and 5-3 in the SCIAC, while Caltech is now 0-18 (0-9).
"It was a great game from start to finish, we were in it the whole way," Head Coach Sandra Marbut said. "We knew we had better after a disappointing result at Oxy, and today we came out and showed that. Our pregame quote, attributed to FDR, was 'It is not sufficient to just want. You must ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want,' and we made the game we wanted happen. We played as a unit, rebounded and shot well and just missed the mark on turnovers, which made the difference."
La Verne opened up the scoring with the first five points, but Caltech fought back to take the lead at 16-14 with 10:02 on the clock behind a quick eight points from Lewis. The Leopards turned the tables, however, posting an 11-2 run to head into halftime up 25-18.
Lewis and Wong combined for the Beavers' first 10 points in the second half and senior Bridget Connor (Albuquerque, N.M. / Albuquerque Acad.) capped the run with a jumper to cut the margin to four at 34-30 with 14:38 to go. Caltech hung within singles digits for the next seven minutes until back-to-back three-pointers sent ULV ahead by 11 at 46-35, but Wong matched the feat herself on the Beavers' next two possessions to trim the margin back to five points at 46-41 with 5:47 on the clock. Caltech would not come any closer, though, as both teams traded baskets down to the final 55-47 score line.
"Kate and Kristin were a fantastic duo," Marbut said. "They had some great combined moments where they played off each other so well, it was like they were the same person in two places. It was a beautiful and coordinated high-low game. Kristin especially had some critical offensive boards that gave us a great energy boost and truly kept us in the game. Stephanie got off to a rocky start, but we have been talking about leaving mistakes in the past and focusing on how to move forward. She finally got to that point when she hit those back-to-back threes in the second half – that just ignited our energy."
Lewis scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and added three assists while Wong scored her 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-4 beyond the arc, and pulled down six rebounds. Junior Kristin Anderson (Folsom, Calif. / St. Francis) chipped in eight points (3-of-6) and eight rebounds in just 22 minutes off the bench, with Connor matching Lewis with three assists.
"We know that having only nine players, just eight which played tonight, means everyone has to contribute," Marbut said. "It can make you feel vulnerable or it can be a tremendous strength, because everyone knows their team needs them – everyone matters. We chose to make it a strength today, and just missed getting the win."
Marbut and the Beavers will be back in action against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges (2-14, 1-6) on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.