La Sierra gives women’s basketball final boost

by Danny Eckardt
Staff Writer

Following a two-game winning streak in a season that has already proven uneventful, the University of La Verne women’s basketball team concluded their second match up with the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Supertents last Friday with a 64-45 loss.

“This team has been good about getting knocked down. They get back up on their feet and they come and work hard the next day,” said sixth-year head coach Julie Kline.

The Leopards loss was filled with frustration and questionable calls.

From tip-off, the Leopards seemed to be experiencing a major lack of focus, which was made apparent in their off-the-mark jumpers and field goal shots.

“We just got out hustled, and they had more desire than us,” said freshman forward Amy Perkins. “We weren’t running the offense like we should have.”

On the other hand, the Athenas were focused and hitting their shots, which consequentially gave them a nine-point lead (34-25) at halftime. That is when the referee calls began to appear rather slanted in favor of CMS.

After a few minutes had passed in the second half, referees Jennifer Tentor and Linda Powell assessed a technical foul to Kline for her expressed disgust with their calls.

“I thought that they [the referees] were out of position quite often, they missed a lot of calls, and made a lot of poor calls because they were out of position,” said Kline.

Nearly five minutes after Kline’s technical foul, sophomore forward/guard Lori Johnson picked up a technical foul and disqualification.

“I think that they targeted Lori Johnson from the beginning, and she just let it get to her,” said Perkins.

Johnson, who is one of the Leopards leading scorers and rebounders, was disqualified for giving the referees a piece of her mind following an offensive charging foul that she had committed.

In total, the Leopards were charged with 17 personal fouls, while the Athenas committed only nine.

“I think we took it a lot better than we were going to take it,” said Johnson.

Not only did the Leopards bench take exception to the referee calls, but the home crowd also found many of the calls to be unfair.

“Their [the referees’] calls were one-sided, and after [Lori] Johnson was thrown out, they became even more one-sided,” sophomore guard Michelle Geiger said.

The Leopards loss to CMS records the second time they have lost to the Athenas this season. Unfortunately, ULV has also lost twice this season to league rivals the Occidental Tigers, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens and the Redlands Bulldogs.

After the game Kline said, “I just talked to them [the team] about winning the last two games [of the season] next, so I think we need to prove to ourselves that we can beat Occidental because they have beaten us twice this year.”

For their last home game of the season last Tuesday, the Leopards ravaged the Golden Eagles of La Sierra by a score of 59-29.

Although La Sierra is not a league competitor, the Leopards took no exception to their underdog opponent. By half-time the Leopards pummeled the Golden Eagles, who could not seem to buy a basket, by 21-points (36-15).

Unlike La Sierra, the Leopards could find the basket, thus putting four players into the double-digit scoring column.

Those players were; junior guard Jennifer Spring (18 points), freshman guard Heather Johnson (16 points), senior center/forward Laura Czingula (12 points) and senior guard Alicia Gibson (10 points).

The La Sierra victory should serve as a confidence builder for the Leopards’ last season game against conference rival Occidental, whom they played last night.

Winning the Occidental game would please Kline, who mentioned that she would like to end the season on a good note for next year.

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