Emmanuel Garibaldi Stevenson
The La Verne women’s basketball team went against the Bethesda Flames in a 98-43 blowout win Nov. 22 at Frantz Athletic Court.
It was the first home win for the Leopards and the closest the team has gotten to a 100-point game all season.
The Leopards had a good game with their top scorer being sophomore point guard Marissa Howell, who had 15 points. Great defense was brought by graduate student guard Dejanee Gill, who had four blocks and two steals.
“We’ve played a lot of away games so far, so it was a nice feeling to be home with our fans supporting us,” Howell said.
The game had lots of fast breaks as the Flames would score but the Leopards knew they could still win. Every time they would score more than once, the game would go at a faster pace making it more entertaining for the audience.
Toward the end, the Leopards were so determined to get to 100 points that they were trying as hard as they could to get key steals and blocks to help them score.
Many players enjoyed their first home game of the season especially with it being a win.
“It felt great to win the first home game of the season. As a senior, that game might be my very last ‘first home game’ of my basketball career,” senior guard Casey Kuramoto said.
Howell said the team capitalized on their strengths and had more intensity than the Flames. She said they did this by correcting any mistakes in the first half and having a better second half.
The Leopards had 39 points in the first half and topped that by scoring 59 in the second half.
“I believe that our ability to focus on our goal, and what we personally want to accomplish as a team separated us from the other team,” graduate student guard Jazzlyn Johnson said.
The team has lots of confidence in this season and Kuramoto said the goal is to win a conference championship and national championship. To do so they must rely on each other, she said.
“The team this year is awesome,”sophomore guard Kim Leon said. “Everyone is so passionate and they all care about the little things that make the biggest difference on the court. We’re all one big family and we all look out for each other on and off the court.”
The Leopards faced Utah Tech on Nov. 26, where they lost 112-61. In their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener against the Whittier Poets on Wednesday, they Leopards came away with a win, 66-52.
La Verne is currently 4-1 overall and 1-0 in SCIAC.
The Leopards will play the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Voelkel Gymnasium in Claremont, then return home to host the Cal Lutheran Regals at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Emmanuel Garibaldi Stevenson can be reached at email@example.com.