Women’s basketball falls to CMS in defensive battle

Jaryn Fajardo drives to the basket.
Jaryn Fajardo (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's basketball team fell narrowly to the visiting Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas 49-47 earlier this afternoon. In a battle of the defenses where neither team reached 50 points, senior Jaryn Fajardo led the Panthers with 14 points.

Fajardo also led Chapman with eight rebounds, six of those coming on the defensive end. Junior Lucy Criswell was the only other Panther to score in the double digits in Chapman's lowest-scoring game so far this season. Criswell tallied 10 points while also adding three rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

The Athenas jumped out to a six-point lead after the first quarter with the help of a couple of made layups from junior Maya Love.

Criswell opened up the second quarter with a three pointer just 11 seconds in, but a couple of made free throws from sophomore Kate Parrish out CMS back up by five. The Athenas made the next five consecutive point to take a double-digit lead, followed by another Criswell three pointer. Fajardo and freshman Julia Strand finished out the half with a couple of free throws each, cutting Chapman's deficit to just two points heading into the third quarter.

Just over three minutes into the third, freshman Madison Shigeta sank a jumper to give the Panthers' their first and only lead of the game at 27-26. The Athenas struck back, scoring the next six points to jump to a five-point lead. Fajardo converted an and-one to bring Chapman back within two points with just over a minute left to play in the third quarter. CMS scored the next three points to give the Athenas a five-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play.

CMS came out of the huddle hot, draining back-to-back-to-back shots to jump to an 11-point lead with 7:40 still left on the clock. Junior Marissa Dunn drained a couple of free throws to bring the Panthers' deficit to eight points, but Love answered with a put-back layup on the next play.

Down 49-39 with 3:39 left to play in the game, the Panthers scored the next eight consecutive points to pull back within two points with less than a minute left. Strand snagged a defensive rebound with ten seconds left to play, but the Panthers could not find the basket at the other end.

Strand finished the game with seven points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Dunn tacked on three rebounds and a couple of assists to her eight points.

The Panthers return home to host Cal Lutheran on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 7pm.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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