The top two seeds in the the SCIAC Women's Basketball Tournament will face each other on Saturday with a berth in the NCAA Division III Championships on the line. #1 Chapman defeated #4 Cal Lutheran 72-68 in one semfinal, while #2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps won over #3 Redlands, 76-72. The Championship Game will be played at Chapman on Saturday night at a time yet to be determined.
#1 Chapman 72, #4 Cal Lutheran 68
The Chapman University women's basketball team held of a second-half surge from Cal Lutheran University, to defeat the visiting Regals 72-68 and advance to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament championship game for the second year in a row.
The tournament's top-seeded Chapman (21-5) will host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday night. The two teams shared the regular season SCIAC title.
The Panthers were led by junior G Andrea Villanueva and sophomore F Sandra Gao, who each recorded a double-double. Villanueva finished the game with 17 points and 10 assists, while Gao scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
After not scoring a point in the first 3 minutes, the Panthers scored 13 unanswered points to take a 13-6 lead with 13:39 left in the half. The Regals brought the score back to within three points, however Chapman responded with a 14-3 run to stretch the lead to 28-14 with 5:46 remaining in the period. The Panthers would go into the break with a 37-24 lead, holding Cal Lutheran to just 8-for-35 (22.9 percent) shooting.
The Regals would not go away in the second half, outscoring the Panthers 44-35 in the period. Cal Lutheran relied on three-point shooting to get them back in to the game, sinking 5 of 7 (71.4 percent) from beyond the arc. The Regals pulled to within three points of the Panthers when freshman G Jessica Salottolo nailed a jump shot with 11 seconds left on the clock, but a clutch free throw from Villanueva would give Chapman the victory by a final score of 72-68.
Chapman will host Claremont in the SCIAC tournament championship game Saturday at the Hutton Center at 5 p.m. The Panthers swept the season series against the Athenas by winning both games including a 73-69 victory at home on Jan. 30.
#2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 76, #3 Redlands 72
The No. 2 seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's basketball team overcame a 10-point second half deficit to force overtime, as they went on to defeat No. 3 seed Redlands 76-72 in the semifinals of the SCIAC Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 27 at Ducey Gym. The win for CMS (23-3, 14-2 SCIAC) sends CMS to the tournament championship game on Saturday, March 1 to face top-seed Chapman in Orange with the time yet to be determined. Please check back on the CMS Athletics website as information will be posted as it becomes available. Chapman (21-5, 14-2 SCIAC) and CMS played twice during the regular season with Chapman winning both games by singles digits.
Redlands (19-7) held a 10-point lead over CMS at 49-39 with 9:10 remaining in the game on a basket by Brittany Oster, and then CMS began to chip away. Oster was one of four in double-digit scoring for Redlands and led the Redlands' offensive attack with a game-high 31 points to go along with nine rebounds.
Free-throws by Kris Brackmann gave CMS the lead at 53-52 with 4:35 remaining and capped a 14-3 run by CMS. Then over the final 4:35, the two teams went back and forth and traded the lead seven times with two ties. Redlands held a 63-61 lead with 31 seconds remaining only for CMS' Kimberly Scamman to go coast-to-coast and tie the game at 63 on a layup with 25 seconds remaining and send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Redlands quickly went ahead on a free-throw to lead 64-63, but CMS answered with a three-pointer by Scamman to give CMS a 66-64 lead. A layup by Redlands' Madison Sanders-Curry evened the score at 66-66 with 3:04 left in the first overtime. A contested jumper by Madeline Barnes bookended with two sets of free-throws by Scamman helped CMS gain a six point lead in overtime en route to the win.
Scamman had 11 of the team's 13 points in overtime and 25 for the game. Barnes led CMS in scoring with 26 points and added six rebounds. Brackmann added 14 points while Mara Falahee had a game-high 13 rebounds.
In addition to the 31 points for Oster for Redlands, Sanders-Curry (10), Kameran Dage (11) and Colleen Goeser (16) were all in double-figure scoring for Redlands.
With the win, CMS secured its 23rd win of the season which ties the school record for wins in a season set back in 1987-88.