CWU News

Wildcats Prevail Over Cal State LA, 62-52

The Central Washington University women's basketball team handled California State Los Angeles on Wednesday (Dec. 16), 62-52.  The Wildcats are now 7-2 on the season, while Cal State LA moves to 3-5.

"I'm really proud of our effort," CWU Head Coach Jeff Harada said.  "Especially after the first quarter.  Cal State LA jumped on us early and got us a little flustered, but I was pleased we were able to compose ourselves and tie it at halftime.  It gave us confidence going into the second half."

The Golden Eagles staked out a 10-2 lead in the first quarter, by forcing six turnovers in the first five minutes.  Central cut the deficit in half, 12-8, with two buckets by JonNae Richardson and one from Mandy Steward.

A three-pointer by Steward with 34 seconds left in the first quarter cut the score to 15-14, in favor of Cal State LA, but back-to-back buckets by Franeka Hall and Chiara DiMarco put the Golden Eagles up 19-14 at the end of the first 10 minutes.

"They [CSULA] have a really good player in DiMarco," Harada noted.  "Jasmin [Edwards] stepped up to the challenge and showed showed why she is an All-GNAC player."

Melanie Valdez netted the first points of the second quarter with 6:29 to play, pulling the score to 19-17 with a three-pointer.  Jasmin Edwards levelled the score with a jumper a minute later.

Edwards finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal.

After a layup by Hall, putting the Golden Eagles up 21-19, Rachel Lorentson blocked a Hall jumper and recovered the rebound.  Valdez found Jasmine Parker down the floor for a layup to even the score, 21-21, with 3:53 remaining in the first half.

The Wildcats took their first lead of the evening with a free throw by Edwards, 22-21.

Lorentson converted a three with 1:48 remaining in the second quarter to put the Wildcats back up 25-24, after Ali Orlich hit a three for Cal State LA.

Edwards knocked down a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining in the half, levelling the score at 27-27 with the teams heading into the locker room.

The third quarter's first points came on a jumper by Edwards, which was then followed by a trey from India Matheson.  The 31-27 advantage for the Wildcats was, at the time, their largest of the contest.

Central extended its lead to 43-33 with a jumper by Matheson, forcing the Golden Eagles to call a timeout with 1:31 remaining in the third quarter.

Momentum swung towards CWU in the third quarter after a 27-27 first half.  Central led 48-35 heading into the final quarter.

"I think we made more shots in the second half because we got more paint shots," Harada added.  "We had good energy and it shoed on the defensive end as well."

The Golden Eagles managed to cut the Wildcats' lead to 51-41 with just under six minutes remaining.  The Wildcats did not allow Cal State LA to drop the deficit below double digits until Orlich converted three free throws, cutting the score to 62-52 with 20 seconds remaining.

Central finished 21-for-41 from the field, translating to a 51.2 shooting percentage from the field.  The Wildcats held the Gold Eagles to a 38.3 field goal percentage.

Parker finished with 10 points, two rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.

The Wildcats are on the road again for Saturday's game against Cal Poly Pomona.  Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

"It was a good regional road win and I'm really happy for our team," Harada said afterward.  "Hopefully we can keep it up and close out our non-conference schedule on a high note."