SAN MARCOS, Calif. (Dec. 13, 2017) – The Caltech women's basketball team, behind a 21-point double-double performance from sophomore guard Samantha D'Costa (San Jose, Calif. / St. Francis) picked up its first victory of the season at the University of St. Katherine's on Wednesday afternoon. The Beavers, who won the game, 81-47, found themselves in familiar territory, as they got their first victory of the 2016-17 season against the same St. Katherine's team in Pasadena.
D'Costa's 21 points led all scorers. Her 11 rebounds also gave her a second-consecutive double-double and her third of the season. She added three assists and one block to further contribute to a solid all-around lead line. Most of her points came on the fast break, as the Beavers' transition offense created an unsolvable problem for the home team.
"We made it a point to focus on our transition offense knowing we could get good looks early on," Reyes said. "Sam did a great job of pushing the tempo early and getting to the free throw line. She really executed and had a good feel of our gameplan."
The Beavers received contributions from all over the floor. Sophomore Grace Peng (San Ramon, Calif. / California) scored 18 points to go with six assists and six rebounds in addition to zero turnovers. Junior Elizabeth Eiden (White Plains, N.Y. / Holy Child) scored 14 points to go along with four assists while junior Nika Haleftiras (San Diego, Calif. / Our Lady of Peace) played the whole game and dumped in 10 more points to boost her side. Freshman Amy Wang (Colorado Springs, Col. / Pine Creek), meanwhile scored her first two points of the season on a pair of free throws at the end of the game and junior forward Madeline Schemel (Westport, Conn. / Staples) pulled down seven rebounds, a season best for her.
Caltech took an eight-point lead into the second half, but shined bright in the final two quarters where they asserted control of the game. Traditionally, the women's basketball team has had its most success in the first quarter, but had its killer-instinct on full display Wednesday. The Beavers pulled away from the Firebirds with scoring runs in the third and fourth quarter and seemingly got stronger as the game progressed.
With Reyes at the helm, the Beavers have cut down on the turnovers (down nearly five per game from last year) and taken on the identity of a defense-first team capable of affecting the game in transition. Said style of play means more team assists, and Caltech delivered with 23, a season best number.
"We played great team basketball," Reyes said. "We've really been trying to value the basketball and finally hit our goal of 12 turnovers or less. That goes for every game we play.
"We are happy to have our first win, but are hoping we can build on this as we approach the bulk of our SCIAC schedule."
Reyes and the Beavers will look to make it two-in-a-row when they host SCIAC foe Whittier College on Friday, Dec.15 at 7:00 p.m.