LA VERNE, Calif. – Two 20-point scoring outputs by Gretchen Owens and Tyra Barawis were enough to lead Linfield to its first road victory of the season Monday evening, a 75-72 decision over La Verne at the Frantz Athletic Court.
Owens nearly recorded a triple-double with a game-high 12 rebounds and nine assists to go along with 20 points. Barawis complemented her 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting with four rebounds.
The Leopards (0-2) jumped out to a 9-5 advantage with the help of a pair of three-point baskets from Raphalle Buenafe and Kirsten Hurd. But the ‘Cats (2-1) rattled off 11 unanswered points to take the lead. An Alex Owen jumper capped off a 16-4 run and gave Linfield its biggest lead, eight points, with 6:33 remaining in the first period.
La Verne surged late, however, tying the game at 29-29 with less than two minutes before the break. A bucket by Owens and free throw by Brynna Fuller helped the visitors reclaim the lead and hold a 32-29 advantage heading into the locker room.
The score remained tight in the second half. Linfield and La Verne traded the lead and endured four more lead changes before the Wildcats went ahead for good at the 10:45 mark on a 3-point basket by Fuller.
The Leopards went on another late run to close to within two with 1 ½ minutes remaining, but Linfield knocked down 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. For the game, however, the 'Cats struggled from the charity stripe, converting just 11-of-20, or 55 percent, of their free throws.
La Verne, meanwhile, died by the 3-point shot, putting up 33 attempts but knocking down just eight of them for 24.2 percent. The home team did get 13 points from Amanda Copas and 12 each from Buenafe and Riki Murakami.
NEXT: Linfield’s first road trip continues with back-to-back games against Pomona-Pitzer and Whittier. Game times for Tuesday and Wednesday are at 6 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.
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