La Verne, Calif. - The women's basketball team hit the court tonight, looking to carry the momentum from their recent victory at Cal Tech over the weekend. But the Golden Eagles dropped a hard fought game to the University of La Verne, in overtime, 73-71.
Both teams struggled to gain their footing offensively, until the Golden Eagles were finally able to convert a few minutes into the game for the early 4-0 lead. The Leopards eventually fought back to take the lead midway through the first half and extended their lead to eight points, 18-10, on a made basket by guard Tiffany Hicks.
The Golden Eagles chipped away and finally caught La Verne at the 3:28 mark of the first half, when Kristen Brummett knocked down one of her three 3-point shots, to tie the score at 24-24, and eventually take the lead. But the Golden Eagles were held scoreless for the final 2:49 and found themselves trailing 28-27 at the half.
The Golden Eagles quickly reclaimed the lead on a 3-point make by Shelby Madigan to start the second half. With each possession their confidence grew and would eventually push their lead to as many as seven points. But by the midway point of the second half, the Leopard fought their way back to equal the score again at 49-49.
The Golden Eagles answered with an 8-0 run, (on eight straight points scored by Leilani Tuani-Fifita), over the next two minutes to take a 57-49 lead.
With 3:30 remaining, two made free throws by Joirdan Jones gave the Golden Eagles a 65-59 lead, but the Leopards quickly answered with a basket to cut the lead to four points. But over the next three minutes, the Golden Eagles went cold, going 0-6 from the field in that span. La Verne on the other hand scored six unanswered points to take the lead on a Megan Musashi 17-foot jump shot as the shot clock hit zero.
Trailing by two points with 32 second to play, Natalia Hawthorne converted a lay-up that would eventually send the game into overtime after the Leopard shot to win the game failed to draw iron.
In the overtime period, both teams struggled to score. The Golden Eagles scored four points in the first two minutes of the overtime, but were held scoreless for the final 3:15. Despite the scoring drought, La Sierra still had a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds, but their 3-point attempt at the buzzer was just off line and glanced off the rim, securing the win for La Verne.
Hawthorne scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds, and had two assists in the loss. Jones added 14 points and four assists, while Brummett came off the bench to score 11 points.
Victoria Lowe and Brittani Walker each pulled down 10 rebounds. Lowe also led the team with five assists on the night. They also scored seven points and eight points respectively.
The women's basketball team drops to 3-8 on the season. Next up for the team will be a battle with No. 1 (NAIA Division I) Vanguard University, on Saturday night. The team will travel to Costa Mesa, Calif., for a match-up with the Lions that is set to begin at 6:00pm.
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