CLAREMONT, Calif. – Down by as many as 22 points in the second half, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team nearly completed the comeback. Instead the University of La Verne held on for an 82-77 win over the Athenas on Saturday night at Ducey Gymnasium. With the win, La Verne improves to 12-10, 9-4 in SCIAC, while CMS drops to 8-14, 4-9 in SCIAC.
The first half remained tight until the 5:05 mark when La Verne opened up its first double-digit lead of the game on a bucket by Shannon Irwin. La Verne pushed its lead to as many as 17 in the half and entered the break with a 40-26 lead. Leslie Steele had a big first half for La Verne with all 10 of her points in the game over the first 20 minutes. To the start the second half, La Verne began on a 15-7 run to push its lead to 22 points.
The Athenas then began to chip away at the lead. A three-pointer by junior forward Cameron Ruby with 6:42 remaining narrowed the La Verne lead to 67-57 and a bucket by junior guard Madeline Barnes got the score to within single-digits for the first time since the first half. CMS got the margin to within a point on a few occasions in the closing minutes but could not jump back ahead as La Verne's Amanda Copas and Megan Mushashi sealed the win at the free-throw line.
Barnes had a team-high 15 points for the Athenas while Ruby added 14 and guard Aria Krumwiede added 10 points and six assists. La Verne was led by Mushashi's 15 points.
Next up for the Athenas is a short trip across the street to face rival Pomona-Pitzer in a road game on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m.