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Westmont Women Fall to Cal Baptist

Scoreless final three minutes result in Warriors' 71-68 loss in GSAC opener.

The Westmont women’s basketball team  (2-1, 0-1) suffered a disappointing 71-68 loss at California Baptist  in Riverside on Tuesday in what was the opening game of the Golden State Athletic Conference  for both teams. Sophomore post player Alisha Heglund, and sophomore guards Amber Stevens and Jessica Case each recorded 14 points while junior forward Annie Johnson added another 12 for the Warriors.

With the scored tied at two points, Westmont put on a 6-0 run with two buckets by Heglund and a third by senior forward Stephanie Anderson. But California Baptist responded with three baskets of its own to tie the game at eight with six minutes expired from the game clock.

Layups by Westmont freshman guard Elizabeth Evancoe (nine points, three rebounds) and California Baptist guard Nicole Davis (26 points, six assists) advanced the score to 10-10. But Davis was fouled on the play and converted on the free throw to make the score 11-10 in favor of the home team. Davis made 10 of 11 attempts from the charity stripe in the game.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Evancoe and Case gave the Warriors a 16-11 advantage with 10:53 remaining in the first half. The Warriors stretched that lead to nine over the next five minutes, culminating with a layup by Heglund with 5:35 showing on the clock and 29-20 showing on the scoreboard.

But the Lancers took advantage of four Warrior turnovers in the next two and a half minutes, putting on a 13-0 run to claim a 33-29 lead. By halftime, Cal Baptist was up 38-33.

Westmont scored 10 of the first 13 points in the second half to regain the lead (43-41) with 14:15 to play. A seesaw battle ensued that saw five lead changes and four ties over the next eight minutes and 15 seconds. A three-pointer by Stevens tied the game at 62 with six minutes to play. But the Lancers responded with a 9-1 run over the next minute and a half, putting the Warriors in a 71-63 hole.

Westmont scored the next five points to cut the margin to just three points (71-68). But Johnson’s three-point field goal with 3:03 to play was the end of the scoring by either team. Just three points away, the Warriors could get no closer in the final agonizing three minutes. The Lancers did not score in the final four and a half minutes of the game.

Westmont shot 47.1 percent from three-point range, but managed just 35.6 percent from within the arc (16 of 45) and 48 percent from the free-throw line (12 of 25). Eighteen offensive rebounds helped the Warriors to a 43-40 advantage on the boards. Heglund had seven rebounds, Johnson tallied six and Stevens and case each had five. Stevens and Brittney Crawford led the team in assists with three each. Westmont tallied nine steals with Stevens accounting for five.

The Warriors will hit the road Tuesday, traveling to No. 16 Azusa Pacific (3-0, 1-0) for a 5:30 p.m. game.

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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