Earning a game-high of 24 points and 17 rebounds, La Verne’s Trenecca Jones battled against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Saturday at the Frantz Athletic Court. La Verne rallied in the second half of the game to beat the Athenas, 64-59. Finishing second in the regular season SCIAC standings, the Leopards will begin the SCIAC tournament this week.
The final conference game for the La Verne women’s basketball team ended with a win at home over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas.
La Verne came from behind in the second period in a hard fought game to win 64-59, ensuring them a spot in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
With this victory, La Verne, the No. 2 seed, was sent into the semifinal round playing Redlands, who is seeded at No. 3 last night after press time.
Cal Lutheran, seeded No. 4, was scheduled to play top-seeded Occidental on Thursday also.
The SCIAC tournament will be played for the first time this year and will include four teams: La Verne, Redlands, Occidental and Cal Lutheran.
“It’s great, we pulled together and made it as a team,” senior guard Lindsey Shiomi said. “We’re really glad to be in the tournament.”
Shiomi moved closer to a career record with her game-high 10 assists, which ranks her currently second all-time with 293.
The Athenas certainly did not make it easy for the Leopards, who had to fight for every point and kept a close eye on many of the La Verne players.
Managing to take the lead in the first period and regularly fending off La Verne’s attempts to score until the end of the first period, CMS led by one point, with a score of 29-28.
With five minutes left on the clock in the second period, the Leopards trailed the Athenas 51-53, before they mounted an aggressive attack, tying it up at 53 a piece with 4:17 remaining.
Finally the Leopards were able to push ahead making the score 55-53 with 3:37 left in regulation.
There was a shift of momentum that CMS would never get back as La Verne remained two shots ahead, ending the game, 64-59, and clinching La Verne a spot in the SCIAC semifinals.
Junior forward Trenecca Jones posted her 13th doubledouble of the year while also converting on eight out of 17 field goals and eight out of 14 free throws.
Senior forward Leslie Elrod added 10 points in the night’s effort.
The Leopards had a low free throw average compared to CMS, making 51 percent of their free throws while CMS made 91 percent.
“We just couldn’t buy a shot early on in the game,” Head coach Julie Kline said.
“You just have to keep shooting to make up for them,” Kline said,
“They were ready; it was their last game,” said freshman guard Ashley Paul.
Paul ended the night by making five of her nine field goals, and an impressive four out of seven three-point shots.
This victory gave the Leopards its 11th conference win of the season, with only three losses.
Overall, ULV finished their 2007-2008 regular season campaign with a record of 18-7 and 11-3 in conference.
This match up was also the last game for the team’s senior players, Elrod, Charleen Guerrero, Marissa Raya, Shiomi and Jenny Strycula.
These women were honored before the game started.
The SCIAC tournament finals will be played tomorrow at 5 p.m. The location is still to be announced.
Dan Sayles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.