LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne women's basketball team led for the first three quarters Wednesday night at the Sports Science at Athletic Pavilion, but the Cal Lutheran Regals jumped in front early in the fourth and held on the rest of the way, beating the Leopards 77-69.
Perez led all players with 26 points and nearly notched a double-double with nine rebounds. Perez has scored at least 20 points 12 times this season. The junior also dished four assists and added four steals.
Perez cut the deficit to four points with 37.7 left on the clock, going end to end and finishing at the basket to put the score at 70-66. But that was as close as La Verne would get with the Regals making their free throws down the stretch.
La Verne took control early in the game with Bailey Kurahashi giving the Leopards their first double-digit lead, drilling a three from the corner off an assist from Janice Deguerio. After a defensive stop on the other end by the Leopards, Perez extended the lead with a three of her own from the top of the key capping off a 12-0 run and putting La Verne up 23-9 at the end of the first quarter.
After the Leopards extended their lead to 18 points to start the second quarter, Cal Lutheran crept back to within eight with 4:33 left in the half. But La Verne got hot to close out the period with Deguerio and Ganan each knocking down a three to help put the Leopards up 37-25 at the half.
The Regals cut the deficit in a hurry to start the third quarter, opening up the period on a 7-0 run, eventually tying the game 41-41 with 3:51 left in the quarter. It wasn't until a minute into the fourth quarter that the Regals took their first lead of the of the game on a jumper by Kailee Yan.
Season Impact: The Leopards drop to 4-13 overall and 3-6 in the SCIAC. Cal Lutheran improves to 10-7 overall and 5-4 in the conference.
Next Game: The Leopards take a break from SCIAC action when they host the St. Katherine Firebirds next Wednesday at 5 p.m.