RIVERSIDE, California- Sometimes, eating Thanksgiving dessert a little early can be a good thing. On Wednesday afternoon at Fowler Events, the CBU women’s basketball team got that dessert.
WAC Player of the Week Chloe Webb finished with a game-high 21 points to lead the Lancers to a 71-66 win on Wednesday afternoon.
Webb also had a double double, pulling down 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 5-0 overall and remain the lone unbeaten team in the WAC.
The Pilots have two NCAA Tournament appearances in four years. And CBU head coach Jarrod Olson says that is what the Lancers want, as well.
“Playing teams like that can only make you better,” Lancers coach Jarrod Olson said. “With such an early start to WAC play we had to make sure our team was challenged. And they have been but found ways to win so far.”
CBU got off to a nice start in the opening quarter. The Lancers led 12-8 with 3:26 left after Emily Sewell’s layup in transition. Sewell finished with six points and four rebounds against her former team.
That layup was the last Lancer field goal of the quarter. Portland closed on a 10-0 run to take a 6-point lead after the first 10 minutes. Dyani Ananiev hit a pair of 3-pointers in that stretch, accounting for eight of those 10 points for the Pilots.
Grace Schmidt was a perfect 3-3 from the field for CBU in that period.
“Grace has been working hard and playing well on both ends so far in following up a stellar freshman year,” Olson added. “Tonight was a challenge for her because she was guarded by a 6-7 kid. And she was still able to do some good things in that matchup..”
In the second quarter, the Lancers found their range from 3-point land, a staple of Olson-coached teams. CBU took a 37-29 lead into the half.
Khloe Lemon, Anaiyah Tu’ua, Kinsley Barrington, Nae Nae Calhoun, and Chloe Webb each connected for a three in the quarter.
— California Baptist Women's Basketball (@CBUwbb) November 22, 2023
Meanwhile, the CBU defense held the Pilots to just 5-18 (27.8%) shooting in the second quarter.
“She’s been playing at the right pace at the right time,” Olson said of Webb. “The game has really slowed down for her and she’s making key plays at the right time.”
Coming out of the half, Portland very quickly tied the game on Lucy Cochrane’s lay-up with 4:01 left in the third quarter. The Pilots stayed in front after Maisie Burnham’s 3-pointer with 42 seconds left in the period and led 51-49 after three quarters.
CBU shot just 28.6% for the quarter. However, the Lancers still had opportunities to keep the lead despite heavy foul trouble. Three misses from the free throw line late didn’t help the cause in getting that early dessert.
However, the Lancers turned things on, especially late in the fourth quarter. It took place with a little over four minutes left to play.
Kianna Hamilton-Fisher made a pair of free throws, stretching the Portland lead to five. After that, another Cochrane jumper gave the Pilots their final lead with 4:10 left (61-59).
Calhoun and Webb hit back to back 3-pointers 28 seconds apart to put CBU up 65-61 with 3:26 left.
Portland got as close as three points twice but couldn’t retake the lead as CBU was 4-4 at the charity stripe to preserve a the pre-Thanksgiving dessert.
“We knew we were in for a challenge tonight and tried to make sure we were in the right headspace for a quality Portland side,” Webb said. “That loss in the WAC final was really tough on all of us. It’s served as motivation for all of us returners going into this season. I really like our blend of experience and newcomers and it’s been fun to see it come together.”
Chloe Webb connected on a trio of 3-pointers in addition to the 10 rebounds and four assists. Grace Schmidt added 13 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.
In defeat, Portland got 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists from Lucy Cochrane. Dyani Ananiev had 13 points and four rebounds. Emme Shearer was the other Pilot in double figures with 10 points.
CBU visits defending champion Southern Utah on Tuesday to open WAC play. Portland continues their road trip with a trip to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Friday and Saturday.