Tides turn on Athenas in 70-65 loss to Antelope Valley

Claire Donnelly (Photo by John Valenzuela)
Claire Donnelly (Photo by John Valenzuela)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – After a stellar second quarter that held Antelope Valley (9-3) to just two points, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team (8-6, 4-1) lost momentum in the second half, ultimately dropping the game 70-65. The steady CMS defense was unable to contain the Pioneers' explosive offense down the stretch, forcing the game to be decided from the foul line.

CMS' defense held the quick-shooting Pioneers to their lowest point total on the season. Coming into the game, Antelope Valley averaged over 90 points per game, having dipped down to 70 only in their loss to Biola in the second game of the season. Even in tonight's game, CMS was more efficient from the field (35.1 vs. 31.3 percent) and from beyond the arc (33.3 vs. 22.6 percent) than the Pioneers, but not as effective from the free throw line (73.1 vs. 79.3 percent).

Senior Kris Brackmann (CMC) looked to have a good offensive game as she came into halftime with a pair of three-pointers and was 2-for-2 at the line. In the second half, she put up nine more points, eventually good for 19, her second highest total this season. Her second triple broke the 19-19 tie in the second quarter in the midst of 19 unanswered points for the Athenas.

The second quarter saw junior Kailee Severt (CMC) sink three buckets and senior center Claire Donnelly (CMC) come down with eight rebounds. Going into the half, the Athenas held the 33-19 advantage.

After the Athenas led by 18 points in the third quarter, Antelope Valley eventually tied up the game for the first time since the first quarter at 55-55 midway through the fourth. To get there after halftime, UAV offense was fueled by Taylor Jackson who was 3-for-4 from behind the arc. She ended up with 15 points by scoring only from three-pointers.

As the screws tightened and CMS was forced to either maintain a slim lead or play catch-up, the Athenas committed a handful of fouls early in the fourth quarter. Already in the bonus, Antelope Valley had the opportunity to shoot 17 free throws in the final quarter, and converted 15 of them. The Pioneers out-scored (31 to 16) and out-rebounded (11 to 5) the Athenas in the fourth to earn the win.

Donnelly's consistency in the post continues to lead the team on both sides of the ball. Tonight marked her third double-double on the season, all since the team returned from winter break. Another success on the night was that the full squad was available again as senior captains Jai Dungca (CMC) and Aly Young (CMC) both saw time on the floor.

The Athenas will return to conference play next Monday, Jan. 16 to host Occidental (7-6, 3-1). CMS will look to avenge the previous loss to the Tigers earlier this season.

Box Score

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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