WHITTIER, Calif. (Jan. 12, 2019) – The Caltech women's basketball, for the fourth game in a row came within one basket of winning its first SCIAC game of the season. This time, the Beavers pushed Whittier College to its limit on the road.
The Beavers put themselves in a position to win thanks to a huge third quarter and a massive edge in the rebounding department. Junior guard Grace Peng (San Ramon, Calif. / California) continued her recent run of strong play with another 25-plus point performance. Peng scored 27 this time around, including a team-high nine in the third quarter, good for nearly half of her team's points. The junior also contributed four rebounds, three assists, and two steals but her efficiency stood out the most. Peng's field goal percentage is up from her career mark since her season debut back in December, and Saturday's 9-for-15 showing only helped the cause. Senior center Elizabeth Eiden (White Plains, N.Y. / Holy Child) fueled the visitors on the glass with 14 points and 14 rebounds, including a key basket in crunch time. The senior factored into the low post defensively as well with two blocks.
Caltech took the lead for the final time thanks to an Eiden layup with 11 seconds to go off a nice pass from senior guard Nika Haleftiras (San Diego, Calif. / Our Lady of Peace). The Beavers fouled the Poets immediately and sent them to line with the hope of regaining possession. Whittier tied the game with one free throw, leaving the Beavers with a chance to go up for good. Peng drew a foul with three seconds to go and made both of her free throws, but the host Poets had just enough time to get a three-pointer off that ultimately fell for the win. Caltech outrebounded Whittier 43-29 and at one point led by as many as 10 points. The Beavers also got to the free throw line with frequency, attempting 21 free throws over the four-quarter game, a good sign for the team moving forward.
Head Coach Bridgette Reyes and the Beavers will return to action on Monday, Jan. 14 when they host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges at 7 p.m.