Westmont women edged by Cal Baptist

In a match-up between top-25 teams, Westmont (7-2, 1-2 GSAC) came up just a little short as No. 19 California Baptist (9-3, 3-1) defeated No. 22 Westmont by a score of 62-57 in Riverside.

Westmont was led by Angel Blanco in the Golden State Athletic Conference contest with 15 points, making five of eight from the floor and five of six from the charity stripe.

“Angel did a great job on both ends of the floor,” said Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore. “It was a battle. Both teams really fought for everything out there. Both teams wanted it and played very focused and good basketball. Even though we are frustrated not to come away with a win, there are a lot of things we did well and a lot of positives to take away from this game. I thought that our effort defensively, especially on the three-point shooters, was excellent.”

With 7:33 showing on the second half clock, sophomore guard Vanessa Farias (5 points) stole the ball and scored to give Westmont a 48-47 advantage.

“Vanessa, who is usually our offensive spark, made some incredible defensive plays,” said Moore. “Twice, she blocked their leading scorer on three-point shots, she got three steals and she created a lot of momentum and good things for us on the defensive end of the floor.”

The Lancers responded with a jumper by Shanice Billington (13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) that restored a one-point lead to the home team. However, Sampson struck again from three-point range and put the Warriors up 51-49 with 5:51 remaining in regulation.

A layup by the Lancer’s Maria Mesa-Nauls (3 points, 7 rebounds) tied the game at 51 before Brenna Hahn (9 points, 6 rebounds) scored to make it 53-51 in favor of California Baptist. With 2:51 to play, Blanco scored on a layup to tie the game at 53.

Chynna Burwell connected on a jumper on the Lancers’ next possession and the Warriors were unable to keep pace. With 1:50 to go, Billington scored on two free throws to put the Lancers up by four (57-53). Blanco scored on yet another layup with 1:36 left, by V.V. Vasciunaite (20 points, 4 rebounds) made one of two free throws and the Lancers held a three-point advantage (58-55) with just under one minute remaining.

Larissa Hensley (2 points, 7 rebounds) gave the Warriors one more chance, scoring with 53 second left to make it a 58-57 game. However, Hahn and Vasciunaite made four of four free throw attempts and the Warriors did not score again, giving California Baptist the win.