The women’s basketball team opened up the season with a 70-55 loss to Whitman Friday at Frantz Athletic Court.
“This is a pretty new team this year,” junior forward/guard Lindsey Foster said. “We are still trying to work things out as far as chemistry and how we play.”
Whitman’s junior guard Tiffani Traver set the tone early on in the game with a three pointer in the first two minutes immediately taking a 3-0 lead over the Leopards.
At the first part of the half the Missionaries led the game 11-10 before La Verne’s senior center Tyne McClure made a jump shot to take a 12-11 lead.
Foster maintained the lead for La Verne, making two jump shots before Whitman took over the game.
Whitman led by as much as 17 points in the first half and entered halftime leading 37-24.
At the start of the second half La Verne’s senior guard Amanda Copas made a three point jump shot making the game 39-27.
La Verne held on tight to the Missionaries as they kept inching closer to close the gap.
At the 15:50 mark, sophomore shooting guard Brittni Tapia pulled the Leopards within seven points of the Missionaries with a three pointer. Whitman fired back regaining their drive and taking a 14-point lead over the Leopards.
With less than eight minutes to play, McClure and junior guard Kimmie Fung managed to score two consecutive jump shots making the score 54-47.
Jump shots went back and forth before Whitman was fouled and received two free throws, giving the Missionaries at 62-51 lead.
The Leopards tried to hold on but were unsuccessful in the last three minutes of the game and the Missionaries went home with the win.
“This is just a bump in the road,” Foster said.
“Our biggest problem right now is rebounding,” head coach Matt Rogers said. “Time will make us better.”
Foster led the Leopards with 14 points and seven rebounds and Copas added nine points. McClure and Tapia scored eight points each.
“We are going to take this loss and channel well,” Foster said. “We are going to get that win.”
The La Verne women took the win Sunday night against Linfield. The Leopards had the home court advantage and closed out the game, 64-40.
“These preseason games are practice for actual conference,” junior guard Megan Musashi said. “We will get there, I have confidence in my team.”
The Leopards opened Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play against the Whittier Poets on Thursday. Results were not available by press time.
The team will then travel to Santa Cruz this weekend to participate in the Hampton Inn Classic.
Taylor Perez-Graham can be reached at email@example.com.