LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Jan 13, 2011) – The Black and Orange used their size advantage to outlast the University of La Verne tonight in Rush Gymnasium. After a hot start by the Leopards, the Tigers battled back by pounding the ball inside, finally catching La Verne late in regulation but had to go into overtime before finally wrestling the win away by the final score of 72 to 67.
La Verne opened the game with a 15-4 run, using a triangle and two to clog the paint and counter the Oxy size advantage. The Black and Orange burned through two timeouts before mounting a comeback led by the interior play of Katelyn Rowe. Oxy adjusted their attack and entered the ball from the high post and off the dribble drive, with Makenzie Brandon (four first half assists) getting the ball to the sophomore in great position. Rowe finished with 10 first half points as the Tigers cut the lead to four by intermission.
In the second half it was Stephanie Scamman who took over on offense, scoring 12 points in the half as Oxy continued to chase the Leopards. She knocked in five consecutive points to give the Tigers their first lead of the ballgame at 57-56 with just 2:38 left in regulation. Scamman (who finished with 14 points) fouled out just moments later but Brandon then took over, relentlessly attacking the interior.
With just seconds left, Oxy came out of a timeout and ran a play to give Brandon great low post position, forcing the Leopards to foul. With just twelve seconds left, and the score tied at 59, the Seattle native calmly knocked down both attempts. But La Verne countered with two from their own charity stripe to force OT. The sophomore stayed on the attack, scoring five of the first seven in the extra frame to put the game away, finishing the thriller by scoring seven of the final 13 points of the game for the Tigers.
La Verne (4-8, 1-1) was led by Amanda Copas, who finished with 17 points, and the 11 boards by Stephanie Shepard.
For the Tigers Stephanie Babij had a game high 13 boards while Brandon finished with a double double, 10 boards to go along with a game high 18 points.
Oxy (7-6, 2-0) host the University of Redlands (2-0 in the SCIAC) for sole possession of first place this Saturday, January 15th in Rush Gymnasium, with tip off scheduled for 5pm.