The women’s basketball team traveled to California Nov. 21-23. The ’Cats won all three of their games against University of La Verne, the California Institute of Technology and Pomona-Pitzer College.
Before that, Linfield hosted the Chapman University Panthers on Nov. 19. The Wildcats were down by 11 points with less than nine minutes of play remaining but went on an 11-3 spree over Chapman to take the lead.
Junior guard Gretchen Owens led the team during the run, scoring six of the 11 come-back points. The Panthers took the lead again with two quick baskets, which put them ahead by four points.
Owens, in an attempt to keep the Wildcats in the game, scored two more points in the last eight seconds of the fourth quarter. But Linfield fouled with two seconds remaining. The Panthers sealed the win with two free-throws and a final score of 71-67.
“As a team, we are working on improving our defensive intensity as well as our rebounding efforts,” junior post Lindsey Gummersall said. “If we can stop teams on defense and maintain possession of the ball, we will be in a great position to score and win some games.”
Linfield traveled down to California on Nov. 21 to take on La Verne. The ’Cats had an early nine-point advantage and took control of the rest of the game.
Four players, Owens, juniors Chrissy Baumgartner and Micha Pringle and freshman Kaely Maltman, scored in the double-figures: Owens was the top scorer with 20 points, Pringle scored 19, Maltman, and Baumgartner scored 16 and 11, respectively. A final score of 87-63 marked their season’s first win.
“La Verne was a tough game,” freshman guard Breanna Ribeiro said. “It was the first time I saw the team come together and use all of our strengths.”
Linfield competed against the Cal-Tech Beavers on Nov. 22. Strong defense and accurate shooting brought the Wildcats another win. The ’Cats had a 60 percent shooting average and forced 29 Beaver turnovers.
Baumgartner was the ’Cats leading scorer with 16, and Pringle had a whopping eight steals throughout her game play. The team’s performance led to their win of 92-56.
The Wildcats battled against Pomona-Pitzer during the last night of their trip. Linfield began with solid play and an unbeatable defense, which quickly shut down the Sagehens. The ’Cats were ahead by 20 points at halftime and continued to hold their lead through the rest of the game. Eleven three-pointers contributed to a third-straight win, 77-51.
First-year head coach Robin Potera-Haskins has connected with the team, Gummersall said.
“The team and I have fully embraced coach [Potera] Haskins,” she said. “She is supportive of everyone on the team and has really pushed us to improve our game as a team as well as individuals.”
With a preseason record of 3-2, the Wildcats anticipate the first league game against Whitman College at home on Dec. 3.
“If we can protect our house, that will be a really good start for us,” Ribeiro said. “I’m looking forward to the team meshing and creating some good upsets.”
Katey Barger/Staff reporter
Katey Barger can be reached at email@example.com.