Photo by Bob Paz
PASADENA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2016) – Junior Kate Lewis (San Antonio, Texas / Ronald Reagan) posted her sixth double-double of the season in yet another overpowering display which came just a minute from powering Caltech women's basketball to its first SCIAC win this year, with the Beavers falling to Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, 61-55, on Saturday night.
Lewis scored a team-high 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds to extend her program record for career double-doubles to 19. The 6-1 forward filled out an impressive line with five assists, three steals and two blocks.
Caltech trailed by three after the first quarter but flipped the script with a 19-9 edge in the second quarter to lead by seven at halftime. An 18-3 run in the final five minutes handed Pomona-Pitzer the victory, however, improving the Sagehens' record to 6-8 overall and 3-2 in the SCIAC while the Beavers fall to 2-12 (0-5).
The Sagehens looked well on their way to a blowout with an 8-0 start just three-and-a-half minutes into play, but five unanswered Caltech points to end the first quarter cut the deficit to just three at 14-11. Junior Michelle Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) canned a three-pointer to key a massive second quarter for the Beavers in which the hosts posted a 10-point advantage to turn the tables by halftime. Freshman Nika Haleftiras (San Diego, Calif. / Our Lady of Peace) knocked down a pair of jumpers to tie the game at 18-18 with 6:52 left in the half and senior Stephanie Wong (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes Peninsula) sent the Beavers in front with an old-fashioned three-point play. Michelle Wong earned a trip to the foul line and hit both free throws to extend the margin to five and Lewis scored on a layup to make it 25-18. the Beavers stretched the margin to nine at 30-21 before the Sagehens mustered a late basket to make the halftime score 30-23 in Caltech's favor.
Pomona-Pitzer fought back furiously with a 10-4 run to pull within a point less than four minutes into the third quarter. The Sagehens hung within a basket for the next four minutes and even took a brief lead at the 3:40 mark, but Caltech separated again with a late three from Stephanie Wong and buzzer-beating jumper by freshman Madeline Schemel (Westport, Conn. / Staples) to maintain the seven-point lead going into the final quarter.
Stephanie Wong sank a pair of free throws to open the period, extending the Beavers' lead to nine. Pomona-Pitzer continued to push the pace relentlessly and cut the lead to five before Lewis and freshman Elizabeth Eiden (White Plains, N.Y. / Holy Child) regained the nine-point edge. Back-to-back three-pointers quickly made it a one-basket game once again and the visitors knotted things up at 53-53 with 2:09 remaining. Schemel sank a free throw and dished to Haleftiras for a jumper following a steal by Eiden to make it 55-53, but those would be Caltech's final points as the Sagehens' Basha Brulee-Wills took over, earning a trip to the line and sending her squad ahead with a layup on the next possession. The Sagehens hit the ensuing free throws as Caltech resorted to sending them to the line and escaped with the narrow victory.
Stephanie Wong added 15 points and four assists while Michelle Wong chipped in nine points and four assists. Haleftiras shot 4-for-5 to accrue eight points, Eiden was a perfect 2-for-2 from the field with seven rebounds and Schemel pulled down eight boards along with an assist, steal and block in 21 minutes off the bench.
Head Coach Sandra Marbut and the Beavers head to Chapman University (9-6, 4-2) on Tuesday, Jan. 19.