(Watch CMS' Postgame Celebration)
ORANGE, Calif. – For the first time since 2004, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team is heading to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship tournament. With a convincing, team-oriented 78-60 win over Chapman University in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament championship game on Saturday, March 1 at the Hutton Center, CMS earned that right. CMS plays defending national champion DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. on Friday, March 7 in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Championship.
Saturday's win gave CMS its 24th of the season, a school record, breaking the previous 23-win mark of the 1987-88 conference championship squad.
Playing against Chapman for the third time this season – Chapman won the first two matchups – CMS led for the duration from the first basket of the game, a three-pointer by junior guard Kimberly Scamman, until the final buzzer. CMS built a double-digit lead at 14-4 on a basket by freshman forward Kris Brackmann, but Chapman stuck around and stayed within single-digits until the 3:53 mark of the first half. Senior guard Madeline Barnes scored to give CMS a 32-21 lead.
CMS maintained a 10-plus point lead until midway through the second half when Sandra Gao scored for Chapman to narrow the CMS lead to 48-39 with 10:31 left in the game. Chapman got as close as seven points at 50-43 on a basket by Andrea Villanueva with 8:53 to go. A 6-0 run by CMS over three minutes highlighted by a three-pointer from freshman guard Jai Dungca stretched the lead back to double figures as CMS would build as much as a 20-point lead en route to the win.
Five CMS players in senior forward Chloe Dobbert (14), senior guard Kyra Ray (11), Barnes (12), Scamman (11) and Dungca (11) all scored in double figures for CMS while Brackmann and sophomore Mara Falahee added nine and six points, respectively.
Villanueva led Chapman with 16 points while Gao added 15 points.
CMS had a strong shooting night from the field, connecting on 52 percent of its field goals and 50 percent of its three-pointers while Chapman shot just 38 percent from the field.
Box score: http://cmsathletics.org/sports/wbkb/2013-14/boxscores/20140301_kwma.xml
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