La Verne continues struggle, drops 2 more

Intercepted by the Leopards' Tamara Loyd (#42) and Lori Johnson (#45), Redlands' Rachel Fiske (#44) is trying to keep possession of the ball. The final score was 77-57, Redlands. ULV is 6-14 overall and 1-7 in SCIAC. / photo by Alen Zilic
Intercepted by the Leopards’ Tamara Loyd (#42) and Lori Johnson (#45), Redlands’ Rachel Fiske (#44) is trying to keep possession of the ball. The final score was 77-57, Redlands. ULV is 6-14 overall and 1-7 in SCIAC. / photo by Alen Zilic

by Scott Harvey
Staff Writer

Women’s basketball woes continue for Leopards fans as La Verne fell to 1-7 in league in a 77-57 loss to Redlands on Tuesday and a 20 point loss to Pomona-Pitzer, 73-53, last Friday.

Friday, Feb. 6, the Leopards faced a tough Pomona-Pitzer team and could not stop the 63.6 percent shooting night for the Sagehens.

La Verne could not seem to find any shooting rhythm in the first half and leading scorer, junior transfer Heather Johnson struggled to help her team early.

Sagehen center Michelle Jones challenged the Leopards in the low post in the first half and led the all scorers at halftime with 10 points.

La Verne counterpart senior center Laura Czingula kept strong defense against Jones early and frustrated her in the low post, drawing 4 fouls from Pomona’s center alone. Czingula held up well and made seven out of eight attempts at the line.

Senior guard Alicia Gibson also was found at the free throw line often and dropped five of eight to finish the game with 11 points and a team high four rebounds.

The second half proved to be all Pomona-Pitzer as Jones combined with point guard Jamie Obhrai for 25 of the Sagehens 73 total points to tire out the Leopards down the stretch.

As time expired the Leopards gave up and although Johnson was able to drop 12 points on the Sagehens, La Verne lost the game 73-53.

Tuesday the Leopards struggled early and the Redlands Lady Bulldogs took advantage of the La Verne’s dismal 7-31 first half shooting.

Redlands guard Rachel Fiske set the pace early dropping the first two three pointers of the game in a row. Teammate Ariana Bates kept defenders guessing and dealt 5 assists early in the half to secure a large lead.

The one first half highlight for La Verne was Johnson, as she shot with accuracy on her way to a 6-17 shooting night and 21 points. Johnson also converted five out of 11 three point attempts.

Although Johnson kept up with the Lady Bulldogs the rest of her teammates struggled to find a shooting groove and the Leopards went into halftime down by 24 points, 38-14.

“I think our intensity against Redlands and other teams is inconsistent. We need to be able to put the pressure on the entire 40 minutes of the game,” said senior guard Tamara Loyd.

The second half moved much smoother for the Leopards, as they remained within striking distance of Redlands, shooting 12-29 from the field.

Sophomore forward Lori Johnson began to get in sync in the second half and finished the game strong with 19 points, 10 rebounds and shot 7-of-10 from the free throw line.

Although La Verne had a better second half the momentum stayed with Redlands as reserve guard Kelly Simers came to play dropping four three pointers and 15 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs.

“In the second half of most of our games we let down defensively. Our man to man defense worked against Redlands, but on offense we lacked composer,” said Loyd.

As time expired the Leopards were down by nearly 25 points, but came back to within 20 and lost by the final score of 77-57.

La Verne falls to 6-14 overall on the season and plays Pomona-Pitzer tonight in the Supertents at 7:30 and will travel to Redlands on Monday to tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

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