by Eric B. Bishop
Dropping a close game to the Claremont Athenas, the University of La Verne women’s basketball team moved its record to 8-14 and 1-5 in league. Against Claremont, the lady Leos kept the game close in the early minutes. A made basket and free throw by Tricia Wright with 11:23 remaining, brought the Leos to within three, 10-7. The Athenas moved their lead to six, 17-11, before consecutive baskets by Wright, Regina Bush, and a Karen Lotton jump shot tied the game, 17-17 with 5:03 left in the first half.
La Verne remained close as one point separated the two teams until just before the half. A Jennifer Tallungan free throw with the 1 :06 left brought the Leos to within two, 24-22, the only difference at the half.
“Our team wasn’t hitting in the first half, the only person hitting was Karen (Lotton),” said Joan Rosario.
The lady Leos came out flat in the second half falling behind by 13 in the first four minutes, 35-22, before a layup by Wright broke the drought. Things stayed that way until the last five minutes of the game. Two Rosario free throws cut the lead to 11, 51-40. A baseline jump shot by Lotton cut the Athenas lead to three, 53-50, with 2:08 remaining in the game.
A jump shot by Tallungan brought the lady Leos to within one, with 1:33 remaining. That would be as close as the Leos would get as the two teams traded baskets. With :09 remaining and the score, 57-56, two Claremont free throws put the game on ice for the Athenas and giving the La Verne a noble but unsuccessful comeback attempt.
“We should have won, but we just weren’t on tonight and they were,” said Head Coach Scott Shier. “We came out in the second half and couldn’t hit a cow in the butt with a banjo.”
Facing the sixth ranked team in Division Ill and league rival Pomona-Pitzer, the lady Leos failed to match the talent of the defending SCIAC champions, losing 73-54.
ULV came out flat in the opening minutes of the game. Outscored 6-0 in the first four minutes and forty seconds, a layup by Rosario got the Leos on the scoreboard.
Each team then traded baskets before Pitzer began to expand its lead. Down 17-8, the Leos cut the lead to six, 17-11, when Wright scored a layup and was fouled. Wright converted the free throw with 8:49 left to play in the first half to move the lady Leos to as close to the Sagehens as they, would get that night.
La Verne displayed trouble with their passing game committing 10 turnovers according to the official scorekeeper. The Leos also had trouble shooting, going 9 for 29, for 31 percent.
La Verne went into halftime trailing by 12, 32-20.
Things only got worse for the Leopards in the second half when with 18:07 left to play, Rosario was called for a technical foul. A second technical was called 49 seconds later, this time on Wright. According to official Wally Pounder, Rosario made a derogatory comment to another player about him.
“I was talking to Raquel (Stanford) and told her not to say anything to him,” said Rosario.
Pounder claimed that Wright had used profanity, whether directed at him or not he was not sure.
“What I said, I said to another player and not to the official,” said Wright.
When all had been resolved, the lady Leos were down 39-22. La Verne played evenly the rest of the game going almost point-for-point with the Sagehens, but couldn’t overcome the deficit and the game ended, 73-54.
In preparation for Pitzer, the University of La Verne women’s basketball team romped the Christ College Eagles last Tuesday in the Supertents.
Everything the Leos couldn’t do against Pomona and Claremont, they did with perfection against the Eagles as ULV jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the first five minutes and never looked back. Ten points was the smallest Leo lead of the night. La Verne quickly built its lead to 20, with back-to-back field goals by Kelly DeWitt and Eunice Walker. With 6:40 remaining in the first half, the score was 32-12.
The lady Leos took control of the game at this point, outscoring the Eagles 19-5 for a 51-19 halftime lead on Christ College.
“I expected to win tonight, I didn’t expect it to be a blowout,” said Shier.
La Verne opened the second half with less enthusiasm, going scoreless in the first four minutes and four seconds while allowing the Eagles to run off six unanswered points.
“We were in a new defense and we were shooting flat in the beginning of the second half,” said Shier.
Following a La Verne time-out with 16:24 left to play, a Lotton jump shot with 15:56 to play started the lady Leos on a 12-0 run, which ended on a 3-on-O fast break with Wright scoring on a bounce pass from DeWitt. This opened the Leo lead to 63-25 with 13:10 remaining.
Nine minutes later, a lay-up by Janet Hart expanded an already embarrassing lead to 40 points, 78-38. An eightto-three run at the end of the game finally ended what was never a contest, with the Leos prevailing, 85-41.
“This game we were ·shooting, rebounding and passing well, a big confidence builder,” added Shier.
Rounding out the Leo scoring, Wright led all scorers with 18 points, DeWitt 15, Lotton 14; Tallungan added 12 and Stanford four. Walker led a Leo bench that pumped in 22 points with 11 of her own. Bush finished with seven while Hart added four.
Scoring was not the only thing the Leos did right as they had a season-high 56 rebounds.