By: Luke Halgerson
ATHERTON, Calif. – Menlo College Women's Basketball was playing its second game of the 2016 Peninsula Classic on Friday evening as they went up against the Mayville State University Comets. The Oaks came into today's game on a three-game winning streak, winning both games on their trip to Hawaii and defeating Olivet Nazarene University by a final score of 102-98. The last time the Oaks scored 100 points or more in a game was on February 8, 2014, when they dominated CSU Maritime 109-73. It would be a hard-fought battle all the way through the entire contest, but the Oaks could not overcome a slim fourth quarter deficit and would lose 62-57.
It was back and forth through the entire first quarter as the largest lead of the quarter was three points. The only lead Mayville had was scoring the first basket of the contest. Menlo would take the lead after back-to-back Emma Briggs baskets. The Comets would manage to tie the game three times in the first, but the Oaks would go into the second quarter up 19-18.
To start the second quarter, Madison Rocha would hit a three ball and Aliyah Brantley would hit two free throws to stretch the lead to six. This would be the last time the Oaks would lead in the half as Mayville would go on a 10-0 run to take the lead at 28-24. Both teams would trade baskets along with Breanna Turner knocking down one free throw to make it a three-point game. The Comets would score the final five points of the second quarter to take an eight-point halftime lead. Mayville managed to hold Menlo to only eight points in the quarter.
The Oaks knew they had to play with some urgency in the second half if they wanted to keep the winning streak alive and they did just that, starting the half on a 7-0 run to put the score at 35-34 in favor of Mayville. However, Menlo could not cut the deficit more than that in the third quarter and would trail 44-39 going into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Menlo would scratch and claw the rest of the way. An Emma Briggs jumper would cap a 7-2 run to make it a one-point game with seven minutes to go in the contest. Mayville would match that as they went on a 6-0 run of their own. The teams would exchange baskets and the score would sit at 56-50 with 3:14 left in the contest. The Oaks would take back the lead after a three-pointer by Celina Pagan, two free throws by Alexis Delovio, and a Breanna Turner layup to their first lead since the first quarter. The Oaks found themselves in the lead 57-56 with a minute fourteen left to play. Although, the comeback attempt would fall short due to the fact that Mayville would finish the game on a 6-0 run to win 62-57.
Breanna Turner was the leading scorer for the Oaks as she finished the game with 17 points on 5-10 shooting. Aliyah Brantley was the next high scorer for Menlo as she finished with 11. Emma Briggs would chip in nine points and Madison Rocha would add eight of her own. The Oaks were limited to 33.9% shooting compared to Mayville who shot 46.7%.
No time to dwell on the loss for the Oaks as they have their second conference game of the season on January 3rd in a game against William Jessup University. Menlo has an 18-7 lifetime record against the Warriors but has not beaten them since 2014. Tip-off will be at 5:30 at Haynes-Prim Pavilion.