The Pomona-Pitzer women’s basketball team ended its year on a high note with a 73-67 victory over Whittier College. Asha Gipson PO ’12 led the way with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, all game highs. The win meant the Sagehens ended with a record of 5-20 overall and 3-11 in SCIAC.
“That last game was terrific,” said assistant coach Dominick Copas. “[Gipson] probably played her best game of their year.”
Against Whittier, the Sagehens got off to a slow start and trailed by five at the half. In the second half, however, the offense came alive. Gipson had all of her points in the second half on 3-4 shooting from the field and 10-12 from the foul line. Five of her 14 rebounds were offensive, and she played a game-high 38 minutes.
“For some seniors, when it’s the last game of the year, you’re so emotionally drained that you’re not really focused, but [Gipson] had her best game in every aspect: scoring, rebounding and leadership,” said Coach Copas. “It was a great performance.”
Alexis Sones PO ’13 contributed 16 points on 4-9 shooting from three-point range, and Maria Weyhrauch PO ’15 and Ruthie Shapiro PZ ’15 added 9 points apiece. The Sagehens held Whittier to only 33 percent from the field and a miserable 21 percent from downtown while shooting over 45 percent from behind the arc.
While the Sagehens’ final record was not great, players and coaches insisted that the season was a positive experience.
“They worked hard, and they improved in so many ways that you can’t see in the win-loss column,” said Copas. “They played tremendous defense, had a great first part of the year and a great last part of the year.”
The Sagehens won two more games than the previous year, and games were consistently much closer.
“It was a great year,” said Neha Savant PO’14. “We had six new players, but we improved and had fun. I’m excited for next year.”
Going forward, the Sagehens’ youth and talent bodes well for their future record. Copas stressed the importance of recruiting in continuing to progress.
“Last summer, we had 50-60 recruits on our board. Our number one player just [verbally committed] to NYU, which is the kind of school we go up against. Our number two recruit just committed to West Point. We have 25 left on the board. Our recruiting criteria is to look for someone as good as the starters on the current team. Every person in 2012, we think, is as good as a starter. Everyone we’ve started to look at in the class on 2013—these are juniors in high school—is, right now, as good as a starter on the team right now. We want to be a powerhouse; we want to compete for championships, so that’s what we need to do,” Copas said.
“We want to improve our win-loss record, make the SCIAC tournament, be one of the top four teams in the conference, and—as a coaching staff—increase the number of quality recruits,” Copas added. These goals look achievable, and, next season, the Sagehens should be better than ever.