Women's Basketball - Tue, Dec. 30, 2008
ATHERTON, Calif. – Trailing by 12 points with less than 10 minutes to play, Menlo College turned to the backcourt duo of senior Kelci Fushikoshi and sophomore Gianna Covarelli down the stretch and watched it deliver a 72-67 victory over South Dakota School of Mines in the final game of the Menlo College Peninsula Classic on Tuesday night at Haynes-Prim Pavilion.
Fushikoshi and Covarelli netted 11 points apiece in the final nine minutes, 43 seconds as the Oaks erased the double-digit deficit with a game-ending 30-13 spurt that sent Menlo to its third straight victory and a 7-4 record entering the New Year. Fushikoshi finished with a game-high 27 points while Covarelli had 16.
A tight first half ended with South Dakota School of Mines up by a point, but the Lady Hardrockers found their rhythm in the paint as the second half got underway. Bethany Holyoak and Jerika Ihnen combined for 11 points inside early in the second half as South Dakota School of Mines built a 54-42 advantage with just under 10 minutes to play. Holyoak and Ihnen each finished with a double-double, but combined for just seven of their 38 points during Menlo’s decisive run.
Covarelli got the Oaks started with a layup off a Carlie Stone assist. Fushikoshi and Haley Limpach each netted a pair of free throws before a Senoj Jones driving basket pulled Menlo within four points with seven minutes to play. Stephanie Bjustrom sunk a tough pull-up jumper for the Lady Hardrockers only to see Fushikoshi and Covarelli score back-to-back baskets to trim the Oaks deficit to 56-54 with just under five minutes remaining.
Ariel Granillo and Holyoak each scored around a pair of Fushikoshi free throws to keep South Dakota School of Mines on top, but only for so long. Covarelli took a long pass from Jones and nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to draw Menlo within a point. The sophomore missed a rushed shot on the Oaks next possession in between four consecutive missed free throws by Ihnen only to drop a runner in the lane through the hoop to give Menlo the lead for good with two minutes, 43 seconds to play.
With the teams trading free throws, Menlo held onto its slim lead when it used one big possession to build the cushion it needed. With less than a minute and a half to play, Limpach fed Katelyn Guild inside. Guild used a quick stepover move to score inside while drawing a foul with little more than a minute left. Guild missed the ensuing free throw, but the Oaks kept possession. Fushikoshi scored inside off a Jones assists to put Menlo ahead 68-63 with 44 seconds remaining.
Fushikoshi and Covarelli each sunk a pair of clutch free throws over the final 24 seconds to help put the game on ice.
Limpach finished with a game-high 13 rebounds and six points as the only Oaks interior player to stay out of foul trouble. Liane Kobori and Leah Manning grabbed seven and six rebounds, respectively, before fouling out while Guild ended up with six points and four rebounds while playing the final minutes with four fouls.
Holyoak led South Dakota School of Mines with 21 points and 10 rebounds with Ihnen adding 17 points and 10 rebounds. Menlo pressured the Lady Hardrockers into 26 assists – to 20 of its own – and made 22-of-30 free throws to South Dakota School of Mines’ 17-of-30.
Menlo has won three straight – its longest streak of the season – to improve to 7-4 overall. South Dakota School of Mines is 6-9 after blowing a double-digit lead for the second time in as many games. The Oaks play at UC Santa Cruz a week from Thursday.
Holy Names 77, Caltech 30: Raquel Hyche scored 26 points to lead the Hawks to a lopsided victory and a 2-0 record at the Peninsula Classic in the first game of the evening.
Holy Names (8-2) bolted out to a 23-point halftime lead and poured it on the second half, limiting Caltech (2-7) to just 10 points after the break. The Beavers turned the ball over 40 times and shot 24.4 percent from the field.
Hyche finished 11-of-18 from the field, making both her 3-point attempts. Liz Widgren added 10 points, nine rebounds for the Hawks while Katie Stiles chipped in nine points. All 13 Holy Names players scored in the game.
Jessica Roberts scored nine points to pace Caltech with Krissy Dahl adding six points, eight rebounds. Lisa Yee had six points, five rebounds before leaving the game early in the second half with an injury.