PASADENA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2015) – The Caltech women's basketball trio of senior Bridget Connor (Albuquerque, N.M. / Albuquerque Acad.), junior Stephanie Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) and sophomore Kate Lewis (San Antonio, Texas / Ronald Reagan) turned in dominant performances in a compelling SCIAC battle with Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Wednesday night.
Wong and Lewis each recorded double-doubles while Connor shot a phenomenal 8-of-11 to fuel an impressive first half for the Beavers, but the Sagehens rallied late and clung to a narrow lead throughout the second half to win, 68-60. Pomona-Pitzer improves to 3-14 overall and 2-6 in the SCIAC while Caltech is now 0-19 (0-10).
The Beavers narrowly outshot the Sagehens, 38-37 percent, and hung within just one rebound (44-43) but Pomona-Pitzer benefitted from a 6-10 edge in turnovers and whopping eight three-pointers from Alain Woo.
Both teams rocketed out of the gate behind a barrage of three-pointers, with Wong nailing a pair and Michelle Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) drilling one in between, while Woo hit her first for the Sagehens as Caltech went ahead, 11-5. Pomona-Pitzer pulled back within one point by the 14:28 mark, but the Wong sisters each hit another trey and Connor chipped in her first two buckets on consecutive possessions to take the Beavers up by a game high of eight at 23-15 with 11:37 on the clock.
A four-minute scoreless stretch allowed the Sagehens to make it a one-basket game again, but the Beavers defense then locked down over the next three-and-a-half minutes to extend the lead back to six at 29-23 just 3:48 before halftime. A second-chance layup and pair of threes from Woo quickly erased the margin, however, as Pomona-Pitzer rallied to take a 31-30 lead into the break.
Connor came out of halftime absolutely on fire, drilling her first three shots as the Beavers tried to keep pace with the Sagehens, who quickly went ahead by six. Wong was Caltech's only answer for the hot-handed Woo, sinking another three to make it a three-point game at 42-39 with 15:40 on the clock.
Pomona-Pitzer's ensuing three baskets were all Woo treys as well, with Lewis pulling Caltech back within one basket after the first but losing ground even despite scoring seven straight points over 3:37. The Sagehens soon led by a game-high 10 points at 60-50 with 4:57 remaining.
Stephanie Wong had one last huge effort in her, driving for back-to-back layups, grabbing a defensive rebound and going coast-to-coast to hit a three on consecutive possessions to bring Caltech back within five at 60-55. The Sagehens would earn back-to-back second-chance baskets to regain some breathing room, however, and held on for the win.
Stephanie Wong led the Beavers with 23 points – her third 20-point outburst of the season and 50th career game in double figures – including a season-high five three-pointers and completed her first double-double of the season with 10 rebounds while not committing a single turnover. Lewis posted her SCIAC-leading seventh double-double of the season and 10th of her career with 14 points and 11 rebounds while Connor netted a season-high 17 points, finishing just shy of her own double-double with eight rebounds, and Michelle Wong dished out a season-high four assists.
Head Coach Sandra Marbut and the Beavers will hit the road for a matchup at California Lutheran University (11-6, 6-2) on Saturday, Jan. 31.