WHITTIER, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2011) – The Black and Orange lost a tough one tonight as Whittier College knocked them off in an overtime thriller, 64-61. In the final sequence Laura Mohler hit a wing three to tie the score with 11 seconds left in overtime, but the Poets rushed the ball up court and nailed a three point bomb from the corner, the Tigers inbounded with just two ticks remaining but could not get a shot off suffering their first loss in SCIAC play. Oxy, Whittier and the University of Redlands now sit atop the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings with identical 3-1 records.
Oxy started fast, pushing out to a six point lead seven minutes into the contest, but the Poets responded with a 20-8 run over the final 13 to lead 26-20 at intermission.
Down 10 with just ten minutes to play, the Tigers hit the comeback trail, with Katelyn Rowe, Stephanie Babij and Makenzie Brandon sparking a 10-0 run with their interior play. Whittier stemmed the tied for a moment with three freethrows to retake the lead, but Marquisha Corley and Mohler got into the act and propelled the Tigers to a 50-42 lead with just two and a half minutes to play.
The Black and Orange had put together a 21-3 run altogether, but the emotional uphill battle took its toll, and Whittier was able capitalize on the Tigers fatigue with a 9-0 run to take a 51-50 lead with just one minute to play. Brandon made one of two from the charity stripe with 37 seconds left in regulation, followed by back to back empty offensive possessions by both squads, sending this SCIAC matchup to overtime.
Oxy took control at the start of overtime, grabbing a three point lead over the first two minutes, but a minute later the Poets (9-6, 3-1) had regained the lead. Whittier's Keimi Lew knocked down four straight freethrows to give the home squad that three point lead before Mohler tied it up, but it was Lew that then drove the length of the floor and found Monica Salazar in the corner for the game winning shot.
Whittier did not shoot well from the field, but made up the difference at the freethrow line, as they knocked in 23 of 33 while Oxy made just 9 of 22 and by grabbing 17 offensive rebounds to just 9 for the Black and Orange. The Tigers dominated in almost every other category, though, winning 18-3 in points off turnovers, 34-14 points in the paint and 10-0 in fast break points.
Brandon led the Tigers with 19 points and 8 assists, both game highs, while Rowe pulled down a double double with 10 points and 12 boards. Babij had 15 points and 8 rebounds to go along with 12 points for Mohler. The Poets were led by Kourtney Zilbert who had 16 points and 19 rebounds.
Oxy (8-7, 3-1) return to Rush Gymnasium this Saturday for a 5pm showdown with Pomona Pitzer.