LA VERNE, CA — Jazzlyn Johnson and Monica Garcia Silva made clutch free throws late in the fourth quarter the University of La Verne women's basketball team scored a late comeback win over the visiting UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs Saturday afternoon.
Down 63-60 with 50 seconds left to play, UC Santa Cruz's Kayle Murphy drove to the hoop but senior Angie Steel game up with a huge block, swatting the ball out of bounds to keep it a one-score game.
After the Banna Slugs inbounded the ball, Steel came through with another huge play, poking the ball away. Point guard Jazzlyn Johnson picked up the loose ball and headed the other way and was fouled by CJ Catina.
Johnson knocked down both her shots at the line to cut the deficit to one. The Leopards' defense came up huge again on the other end of the court, forcing a Banna Slugs' turnover, give La Verne a chance to take the lead with 31 seconds remaining.
Garcia Silva grabbed the ball in the high post, drove to the basket and was fouled, sending her to the line with a chance to take the lead. Garcia Silva made both attempts and gave the Leopards their first lead since the 3:58 mark in the second quarter.
Savannah Henson got off a three-point attempt in the final seconds but it went off the mark.
The Leopards came through huge at the line in the fourth quarter with their final 10 points coming at the charity stripe. Garcia Silva was a perfect 8-8 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Garcia Silva scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed eight boards with one steal. Senior Clarissa Perez added 15 points with two rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
UC Santa Cruz was led by Murphy's 18 points.
The Leopards improve to 12-10 overall. After the SCIAC games on Saturday, the Leopards sit in fifth place in the SCIAC standings with 6-7 SCIAC record. Whittier is currently in fourth place at 7-8. With three conference games left to play the Leopards control their own destiny, if they win out they're in.
The Leopards travel to first place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Monday at 6 p.m.
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