Leos Win Big At Home
After suffering it's worst loss of the season to Cal Lutheran last Saturday in Thousand Oaks, the University of La Verne bounced back with an impressive 76-53 conference win over the Whittier Poets Thursday night at Frantz Athletic Court as junior guard Ashley Paul led all scorers with 21 in just 19 minutes.
The game was decided on rebounds and the long ball. La Verne
cleaned up the glass, taking a 41-22 rebounding advantage. Whittier
struggled from beyond the arc, missing all 8 of its three point
attempts. Conversely, La Verne connected on 43.5% (10-of-23) from
The Poets shot 42.4% (25-of-59) while La Verne converted on 51.7% (30-of-58) from the field.
Whittier's Kourtney Zilbert gave the Poets an early five-point lead (26-21) after scoring 12 in the first 12 minutes. Back-to-back three pointers by Paul cut the deficit to a point, and junior Mayra Duenas gave the Leopards a 1-point lead (29-28) after a knocking down a pair of free throws. Freshman guard Devon Michaels came off the bench to score 7 points in the final 3 minutes to provide La Verne with a 38-32 lead at intermission.
Although the Poets shot 50% (15-of-30) in the first half, the Leopards held Whittier to just 34% (10-of-29) in the second. The Leos opened the second frame on a 26-8 run (64-40) led by Stephanie Shepard's three consecutive three-pointers.
Shepard ended the game with 15 points, shooting 85.7% (6-of-7) from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from long range. Teresa Fatai scored 10 points off the bench while grabbing 6 rebounds.
Zilbert finished with 19 and 4 steals to pace the Poets'
offensive attack. Forward Tina Merlino, who scorched the
Leopards with a 19-point 19-rebound performance in their last
meeting, finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds.
The Leopards improve to 4-7 in conference with three games to go and sit in a 5th place tie with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. La Verne will host the Athenas this Saturday at Frantz Athletic Court, which will conclude the Leopards' three-day Pink Zone campaign. Tip off begins at 5 pm pm.