PASADENA (Feb. 19, 2018) – Led by junior center Elizabeth Eiden (White Plains, N.Y. / Holy Child), the Caltech women's basketball team closed the 2017-18 in a competitive game against the University of California Santa Cruz on Monday afternoon. The Beavers finished the season with three SCIAC wins for the first time in program history after several years of two-win seasons.
Eiden found herself at the center of a defensive struggle between both teams but ended the game with 12 points, two blocks and one rebound shy of a double-double. Her 4-for-4 day at the free throw line also allowed her team to shoot 86.7-percent from the line, boosting the season average to 68-percent. The center closes out the season as one of three Beavers to average double-figures and the SCIAC's leader in blocked shots (2.9 bpg). Sophomore guard Samantha D'Costa (San Jose, Calif. / St. Francis) had herself a similar day, scoring 13 points to lead the Beavers to go along with seven rebounds. D'Costa finishes the season as Caltech's leading scorer (14.9 ppg) and rebounder (8.4 rpg). The Beavers assisted on nine of their 17 team field goals, and sophomore guard Grace Peng (San Ramon, Calif. / California) accounted for five of them.
Both teams packed the heat defensively, particularly in the first half. It took both teams two quarters to reach double-figures and by halftime only five points separated the two teams. The added defense did lead to nice steals numbers for junior guard Nika Haleftiras (San Diego, Calif. / Our Lady of Peace) and freshman forward Lauren Suezaki (San Ramon, Calif. / California), who each had three steals. The defensive shells of both teams had broken down somewhat by the fourth quarter, where the opponents combined for 45 points, three times the amount of scoring from the opening period.
Head Coach Bridgette Reyes and the Beavers finished one win better than they did the prior season after having lost second all-time leading scorer Kate Lewis '17. Caltech also finished one win better in SCIAC play and swept the University of La Verne for the first time in program history. Reyes will be returning all of her players for the 2018-19 season.