The women’s basketball team defeated La Sierra 73-71 in overtime Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court.
A go-ahead three pointer with three minutes left in overtime by senior Megan Musashi gave the Leopards a 72-71 lead.
A free throw by junior point guard Riki Murakami added to the lead and sealed the La Verne victory.
“All my teammates help me get open,” Musashi said. “It is just up to all of us to execute.”
Musashi finished the game with 15 points.
It was a back-and-forth game throughout with biggest lead for either team being just seven points.
With game tied 65-65 in the second half Musashi hit a jump shot at the free throw line with 31 seconds left as the shot clock expired to give the Leopards a 67-65 lead.
La Sierra scored on the next possession when senior guard Natalia Hawthorne drove the lane scoring on a layup to send the game into overtime.
La Verne outscored La Sierra 6-4 in the overtime to earn the victory.
“I am proud of the way we fought,” sophomore center Emily Myers said. “We could have faltered near the end, but we didn’t.”
Myers scored a game-high 17 points for the Leopards’ winning efforts.
Myers was offensively efficient shooting 8-11 from the field.
“I got into the flow of the game, especially in the second half,” Myers said.
Myers also recorded a game-high 12 rebounds. As a team La Verne was outrebounded 50-40.
The Leopards surrendered 18 offensive rebounds as well.
“Rebounding is definitely something we need to work on,” head coach Julia Shaw said. “Rebounding is crucial to any win.”
Defensively La Verne tallied nine team steals and forced the Golden Eagles into 23 turnovers.
The Leopards also earned the victory by shooting just 39 percent from the field and 29 percent from three point range.
La Verne only shot 58 percent from the free throw line as well.
“I am happy with the win,” Shaw said. “They were able to grind out a game, make stops when they needed to, and make baskets when they needed to.”
With the loss, La Sierra falls to 3-8 on the season and 2-3 away from home.
With the win, the Leopards improve to 3-2 on the season. La Verne is also 2-1 at home this season.
La Verne opens up Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Occidental.
“We need to have a game mentality in practice,” Shaw said. “We have to take ownership of the little things.”
Julian Mininsohn can be reached at email@example.com.