By Jack Brancheau
LOS ANGELES — The Occidental Women's Basketball team fell to the Whittier Poets in heart-breaking fashion, 74-72, in Monday's SCIAC match-up at Rush Gymnasium.
After rallying back from a 20-point deficit and gaining a one point lead with 1.7 seconds left in the game, Whittier Guard Cali Cubel knocked down a game winning 3-point shot as the clock expired.
Taylor Yoshida sparked the Tigers' comeback, scoring seven straight points midway through the third quarter. Behind Yoshida and Alyssa Ramlochan, who had 15 of her 16 points in the second half, Oxy went on an 18-4 run that pulled them within six to end the third.
The Tigers used a full court press in the fourth, which led to a few turnovers and fast break opportunities. With 50 seconds remaining in the game, Emily Leonard converted an and-one opportunity to give the Tigers their first lead since early in the second quarter.
After Whittier guard, Zaria Branch, knocked down two free throws to tie the game, the Tigers got the ball back with 28 seconds. Yoshida took the ball at the top of the key and drew a foul on an aggressive drive to the rim. She hit one of two free throws to put the Tigers up 73-72 with 1.7 seconds in the game. Following a Whittier timeout that moved the ball into their offensive half, a quick inbound play allowed Cali Cubel to knock down a game-winning shot.
Despite the loss, the Tigers showed resilience and grit in an exciting SCIAC battle. Taylor Yoshida was simply outstanding on both sides of the ball. The sophomore guard scored 20 points, dished out six assists, grabbed three rebounds and four steals. Alyssa Ramlochan played big for the Tigers on the boards - she finished the night with an impressive 16 rebounds and 16 points. The two guards took over in the second half, scoring a combined 29 points, nearly completing the improbable comeback.
Season Impact: The Tigers fall to 1-6 in the conference and 7-9 overall. Whittier improves to 4-3 in the SCIAC and 8-7 overall.
Moving Forward: Occidental is back in action this Wednesday (1/16) at 7PM against the Redlands Bulldogs at Rush Gymnasium.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram