The women's basketball team lost another close contest to Occidental College 67-62 on Friday afternoon. The Golden Eagles (2-7, 0-1 Cal Pac) were unable to overcome a first half deficit after making a second half run to cut the lead to three points in the final minutes.
Occidental benefitted from an 8-for-18 shooting performance from beyond the arc in the first half to lead by as many as 19 points. By the end of the half the Golden Eagles cut the lead to 13-points by the half, 40-27.
In the first five minutes of the second half, the Golden Eagles were only able to cut the lead to 47-37, but Occidental pushed the lead back up to 12-points, until a Natalia Hawthorne 3-point shot cut the lead to under 10 points for the first time since the first half. Occidental's Elizabeth Messick quickly pushed the lead back to 12-points on an old-fashioned three-point play, by converting the basket and a free throw, halting the Golden Eagles momentum.
After some back-and-forth, the Tigers held a 57-45 lead with just under five minutes to play. The Golden Eagles were able to trim the lead to just three points twice in the final 1:25, but that's as close as the Golden Eagles would get, due to some clutch free throw shooting by Occidental who finished the game by connecting on 18 of their 20 attempts.
Hawthorne led the Golden Eagles with 23 points, in addition to seven rebounds, four steals, and two assists. Shelby Madigan added 14 points and seven rebounds of her own, while Victoria Lowe pitched in with 10 points and seven rebounds. Kristen Brummett led the team with eight rebounds.
The women's basketball team will be back in action on Saturday night when they travel to the California Institute of Technology. Game time is scheduled for 6pm.