PASADENA (Nov. 27, 2019) – The Caltech women's basketball team turned a corner on Wednesday afternoon when it took Willamette University to the limit.
The Beavers took a measured approach into their fourth game of the season, slowing down their offense to create better opportuniites for themselves while limiting chances for their opponents. When the ball shifted back into the hands of the Bearcats, the Beavers' defense stepped up and forced the visitors into tough shots. Through the game's first two quarters, Caltech outshot Willamette, .402-.387 despite trailing by eight points at halftime.
The third quarter belonged to senior guard Grace Peng (San Ramon, Calif. / California) and the Beavers. Peng scored five of her team-high 17 points and got freshman teammates Sahana Saikumar (Arcadia, Calif. / Arcadia) and Helen Siavelis (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Prospect) involved in the offense over that stretch. Perhaps most importantly, Caltech turned the ball over just one time in the third quarter to Willamette's six. Over the final 10 minutes, however, the Bearcats began hitting deep three's to obtain control of the game back and put things out of reach. Saikumar, who finished the game with 16 points, came one rebound away from a double-double and senior forward Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) had 10 rebounds for the second time in three games.
Head Coach Bridgette Reyes and the Beavers will begin the Caltech leg of the Caltech-Oxy Thanksgiving Classic on Friday when they host Bard College at 4 p.m.